State College manager Oliver Marmol was not happy with his team’s performance for a second straight night.
Marmol voiced his displeasure to his players in the clubhouse after the Spikes’ 8-4 loss in 11 innings to the Batavia Muckdogs on Thursday night. State College committed four errors and had eight wild pitches a day after committing four errors in another loss to the Muckdogs.
“It was just kind of an ugly game,” Marmol said. “Not a whole lot went well. The team that made the least amount of errors was going to win it. I don’t care what level you’re playing at, that’s just not good baseball.”
The Muckdogs eventually blew it open with four runs in the 11th inning at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Jacob Booden pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and hitting a batter and throwing three wild pitches in a losing effort. Spikes third baseman Danny Diekroeger made all four State College errors. State College (4-3) struck out 13 times, left 12 on base and went 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Batavia (5-2) wasn’t much better, committing three errors in addition to leaving 11 on and going 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
The Spikes’ struggles in the field and on the mound doomed them despite forcing extra innings.
“You’re going to lose a lot of them,” Marmol said of the team’s miscues. “Actually, you’re going to lose every one of them unless the other team matches you. That right there is, that’s just bad baseball.”
Batavia took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI double by Kevin Grove and an RBI single by Eric Fisher.
The Spikes answered in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs with the help of two Batavia errors and a passed ball.
Robelys Reyes beat out an infield single to score a run, with another scoring on an error by Batavia shortstop Aaron Blanton. Reyes then came around to score on a passed ball, giving the Spikes a 3-2 lead.
Rowan Wick kept the game tied with a highlight-reel play in the field with one out in the fifth inning.
With Batavia’s Kevin Grove on second and Carlos Duran on third, Muckdogs first baseman Eric Fisher sent a fly ball to right field. Wick made the catch and prepared to make the throw to third base as the runners were ready to tag.
Wick fired it on a line to Diekroeger to get Grove diving head first into third. Duran did not score in time tagging from third, and the double play sent State College and Batavia to the bottom of the fifth tied 3-3.
Neither team could get going offensively in the next three innings.
State College kept Batavia off the scoreboard behind another strong effort from its bullpen.
Fernando Baez pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, starting with getting the double play on the flyout by Wick in the fifth. Josh Lucas entered and escaped a one-out jam with a double play to keep the score tied in the eighth.
An error on a ground ball to Diekroeger in the ninth helped Batavia break the tie.
After Reyes smacked a single through the left side of the infield in the ninth inning to pull the Spikes even with Batavia, the Spikes had a chance to win it.
State College loaded the bases with two outs for Jhohan Acevedo, but he struck out looking to send the game to the 10th.
“I don’t care about still being in position there,” Marmol said. “It should be where I could be four, five runs ahead. You play good baseball there, you’re not worried about being in position. You’re blowing the team out. You’re not worried about that.”
Batavia then struck for four runs off Booden in the 11th, benefiting from another error, two wild pitches and a hit batter to put the game out of reach.
Notes: The Spikes begin a four-game road trip Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Jamestown. Danny Poncedeleon will make his professional debut on the mound for the Spikes. The right-hander was drafted in the ninth round out of Embry-Riddle (Fla.) earlier this month. Tyler Eppler will start for Jamestown. He threw three perfect innings in his first start this season against Mahoning Valley.