State College Spikes

Spikes baseball: State College drops twinbill at Batavia

Batavia’s Javier Lopez smacked a two-run single to cap a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh as Batavia stunned State College 5-4 to sweep a doubleheader in New York-Penn League baseball action on Saturday.

State College (6-6) dropped the opening game of the two seven-inning contests 3-1.

The Spikes appeared to have the second game locked up entering the seventh, but the Muckdogs (6-5) rallied against relievers Jhonny Polanco and Jeff Rauh.

Ryan Aper doubled to open the inning and held at second as Luiz Ortiz reached on an error. After a fielder’s choice grounder forced Ortiz at second, State College manager Oliver Marmol replaced Polanco with Rauh.

Rauh walked Austin Dean then gave up a two-run double to left to Felix Munoz. With the infield in and runners at second and third, Rauh struck out Avery Romero. An intentional walk to Scott Carcaise (who had reached base three times) brought up Lopez, who promptly grounded the game-winning single through the middle.

The result ruined a solid effort from Juan Bautista. The Spikes starter allowed four hits and a run, while walking two and striking out one in a five-inning stint. Bautista lowered his season ERA to 2.93.

Trailing 1-0, the Spikes took the lead in the fourth, knocking out Batavia starter Jarlin Garcia.

Cesar Valera and Bruce Caldwell drew walks to open the inning. After a strikeout, Garcia’s balk moved up the baserunners and Valera scored on a wild pitch. After Mason Katz walked and after another strikeout, Trevor Martin smacked a two-run double to center field, which ended Garcia’s night.

Reliever CJ Robinson hit Alex De Leon with a pitch before Steven Ramos stroked an RBI single to center.

The Muckdogs (5-6) took a 1-0 lead in the second on Lopez’s RBI double. Bautista got out of a bases-loaded jam with a groundout.

The Spikes got just four hits in the contest and struck out nine times. Lopez and Munoz each had two hits.

The Spikes also managed just four hits in the opener.

Batavia grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, J.T. Riddle singled to center field and raced to third on Dean’s double to left. Riddle scored on Munoz’s RBI groundout.

State College tied it in the third inning. Hot-hitting Jimmy Bosco led off with a double. He was still at second when David Washington smacked a two-out double to center field to tie it. The Muckdogs won it an inning later against reliever Willy Paulino (0-1). Romero led off with a double, moved to third on Chad Wallach’s single and scored on Lopez’s sacrifice fly. Conner Burke walked and Ryan Aper struck out before Justin Bohn lined a double to right field. Wallach easily scored, but Burke was cut down as second baseman Bruce Caldwell fired to catcher Luke Voit after taking the cutoff throw from right fielder Matthew Young.

The Spikes didn’t manage a hit over the last three innings. Washington, their only baserunner in that span, walked in the sixth but was picked off of first by Batavia reliever Colby Suggs.

Helpi Reyes (1-1) allowd four hits, walked one and struck out three in five innings to earn the win for Batavia. Casey McCarthy pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his second save.

Washington’s two doubles led the Spikes’ offense. State College’s Katz, a fourth-round draft pick from LSU who was activated before the game, ripped a single to center in his first professional at-bat.

Romero had two hits for the Muckdogs.

Notes: Katz just arrived after helping LSU make the College World Series. Katz led the Tigers with a .370 batting average while smashing 16 home runs and driving in 70 in 68 games. ... State College’s Chris Perry (1-0, 0.82 ERA) will go against Batavia’s Justin Jackson (0-1, 6.00) in today’s series finale. ... The Spikes will play at Williamsport on Monday.