In the early goings, it looked as if the State College Spikes were dead.
But they had new life in the ninth.
In the bottom of the final inning, State College applied the pressure, scoring one and generating a bases-loaded situation with one out.
“I thought we had it,” Spikes manager Johnny Rodriguez said. “I thought we were going to win that one.”
However, they couldn’t secure one more to force extra innings.
Mick Fennell hit into a 1-2-3 ground ball double play to end the evening, as State College fell 6-5 to Batavia on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
State College (42-22) lost for just the second time to Batavia (17-45). The Spikes own a 6-2 record against the Muckdogs this summer.
Entering the bottom of the ninth, State College was down by two. It was gloomier early, but Ryan McCarvel really picked up the slack offensively.
The 21-year-old power hitter was 3 for 5 with four RBIs. McCarvel now has seven hits and seven RBIs in his last four games.
“Oh he was swinging,” Rodriguez said. “He’s leg is really kicking slow, so I knew he was on.”
In the final inning, McCarvel recorded his fourth RBI, scoring Vince Jackson on a single to left field.
Then, a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk loaded the bases for Fennell, a pinch-hitter.
First pitch, the 22-year-old laced one back to the pitcher, but reliever Victor Delgado snagged it, threw home, and catcher Jarett Rindfleisch beamed it over to first for the win.
“It should have gotten through,” Rodriguez said in disbelief. “He made a great play.”
Dewin ducks out
It was a start Dewin Perez surely wishes he could re-do.
Making his sixth start of the year, Perez recorded only two outs, allowing three critical runs in the top of the first inning.
Perez allowed a leadoff single to Aaron Knapp, and after a sacrifice bunt moved him up to second, things started going really downhill.
Perez issued a four-pitch walk to J.J. Gould, threw a wild pitch, and surrendered an RBI single to Eric Gutierrez.
Then Perez threw a run-scoring wild pitch, struck out a batter, walked another, and gave up another RBI single, this time to Mike Garzillo.
After 39 pitches (19 strikes), three hits, three runs and two walks, Perez’s nightmare inning was over. Jordan DeLorenzo entered in relief.
“Just didn’t have it tonight,” Rodriguez said. “Just didn’t have it.”
With Perez ousted in the first, the game fell on the shoulders of State College’s bullpen, and it couldn’t totally hold things together.
The Spikes used four pitchers in total — Perez, DeLorenzo, Gerwuins Velazco and Brady Bowen.
DeLorenzo threw 3 1/3 innings, but allowed two runs on four hits and three walks.
Velazco gave up four hits and one run, and Bowen tossed a scoreless ninth.
Batavia also utilized the bullpen quite a bit. The Muckdogs used six pitchers — starter Michael Mertz, Hunter Wells, Ty Provencher, Shane Sawczak, Trenton Hill and Victor Delgado.
Wells was the winning pitcher.
Spikes: State College finishes out its three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Thursday. Right-hander Greg Tomchick is scheduled to start for the Spikes. Tomchick (1-1, 5.92 ERA) has a 6.30 ERA in 14 appearances (only one start) for State College this season. He started his last outing, allowing four hits and two runs over 4 1/3 innings against Williamsport on Friday.
Muckdogs: Batavia is expected to close out the series with Sam Perez on the bump. The 22-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA in 13 appearances (six starts) for the Muckdogs. Perez faced State College once, throwing a scoreless 1 2/3-inning relief stint on June 24.