The State College Spikes swept their way to a Class A Short Season New York-Penn League title on Monday, defeating Hudson Valley, 2-1, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in Game 2 of the best-of-three series. The championship was the Spikes' second in three years and marked the third league title won by a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate in 2016.
Hudson Valley pushed across the game's first run in the top of the first inning but wouldn't hold the lead for long, as State College third baseman Danny Hudzina connected on a two-run homer in the bottom of the second to give the Spikes the lead.
Those early runs would be the only ones scored in the game, as State College allowed only two Hudson Valley hitters to reach second base after the second inning.
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Pacing the Spikes on the mound on Monday was Jordan DeLorenzo, who, after firing three scoreless innings with six strikeouts to record the save in Game 1 of the semifinals against Staten Island, was asked to make just his second start of the season and fourth of his career. The 24-year-old southpaw didn't disappoint on the big stage, allowing the one earned run on four hits in four innings. He issued two walks and struck out seven, with 43 of his 71 pitches going for strikes. He finished the postseason with 13 strikeouts in seven innings.
In general, excellent starting pitching was at the heart of State College's run through the playoffs, as the Spikes' staff allowed nine runs over five games between the semifinals and finals. Starters Brayan Dobzanski, Carson Cross and Steven Farinaro all logged scoreless starts in the playoffs and combined to allow just 10 hits in 17 innings. Cardinals No. 14 prospect Connor Jones also had a strong showing in his only relief appearance, as the 2016 second-rounder hurled two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and one strikeout, in State College's loss against Staten Island in Game 2 of the semifinals.
Catcher Jeremy Martinez was the Spikes' top hitter in the playoffs, as the 2016 fourth-rounder posted a .333 average with six hits and two RBIs in five games after an impressive pro debut that saw him bat .325/.419/.433 with 32 RBIs and more walks (32) than strikeouts (16) over 57 games in the NYPL.
Shortstop Tommy Edman, the Cardinals' sixth-round pick in June, also enjoyed a solid series, finishing with a .273 average, two runs scored and two steals, while second baseman Andy Young tallied two doubles, a home run and a team-leading six RBIs.
Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.