BATAVIA, N.Y. — Batavia’s early offensive storm was too much for State College to weather on Wednesday night, as the Spikes left the tying run at the plate in the eighth and fell to the Muckdogs 6-3 at Dwyer Stadium.
Trailing 6-0 entering the sixth inning, State College (26-24) started its rally behind Alex Fuselier’s one-out double. Two batters later, D.J. Crumlich added another double to deep left-center field to score Fuselier with the first run. Jacob Stallings then cut the Spikes’ deficit to 6-2 with a two-out single to score Crumlich.
State College pulled to within 6-3 in the eighth as Yhonathan Barrios and Fuselier delivered hits to open the innings, as Barrios scored on Walker Gourley’s RBI single to right-center.
The trio of hits finally chased Batavia starter Tyler Melling (3-1) from the mound after seven-plus innings, with Crumlich due up as the tying run. Batavia all-star reliever Lee Stoppelman came on and set down the next six Spikes batters in order, striking out the last five, to stop State College momentum and earn his third save, as Batavia (25-24) got over the .500 hump.
The Muckdogs gained control in the first inning with Breyvic Valera’s RBI double two batters into the game. State College center fielder Tyler Gaffney suffered a black eye on the play, when he dove unsuccessfully for Valera’s line drive. Fuselier replaced the Spikes all-star in the field after the play.
Batavia added another run in the first and scored three times in the third to take control of the game. Jonathan Keener’s bases-loaded, two-run single increased the Muckdogs advantage to 4-0, and a subsequent sacrifice fly made it 5-0 after three. Danny Stienstra brought in the final Batavia run in the fourth inning with an RBI single.
Spikes starter Jason Creasy (0-3) took the loss after yielding five runs on seven hits over three innings of work.
Melling earned the win with the longest outing by a Spikes opponent this year. The Batavia left-hander gave up three runs on 10 hits, striking out a pair on the night.
Valera produced his second straight three-hit game as the Muckdogs ended their six-game losing streak with the win.
State College remains in second place in the Pinckney Division, 3 1/2 game behind Auburn. The Spikes and Doubledays will clash in the first game of a two-game set on at 7:05 p.m. tonight. The matchup at Falcon Park marks the first meeting between the two clubs in 2012, with State College and Auburn set for 10 tilts over the season’s final 26 games.
Left-hander Joely Rodriguez (2-1) gets the ball for the Spikes in tonight after tossing five shutout innings against Hudson Valley last Thursday. The Doubledays will go with right-hander Ivan Pineyro (1-1).