Spikes set season-high in attendance, squander late lead

Local Sports

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – An over-capacity crowd of 5,728 fans, the largest of the 2019 season to this point, saw the State College Spikes go back and forth with the Batavia Muckdogs before the Muckdogs notched the winning run in the tenth inning to take a 3-2 decision on Saturday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The crowd packing the ballpark, which has an official capacity of 5,570, witnessed the Spikes (27-27) take the lead in the sixth inning when Pedro Pages, the Cardinals’ 2019 sixth-round draft choice out of Florida Atlantic, smashed his first professional home run.

Pages’s two-run shot to the Pepsi Picnic Pavilion in left field off Batavia (32-23) reliever Brock Lovewas estimated at 410 feet, and put the score at 2-1.

The Muckdogs then tied the game in the ninth when Harrison Dinicola singled, moved to second onJulian Infante’s single, advanced to third on a Brayan Hernandez sacrifice bunt, and scored on Jack Strunc’s groundout.

The game was then decided in the tenth inning, when designated runner Kobie Taylor, who entered as a pinch-runner to start the inning at second, slid into home on Troy Johnston’s fielder’s choice.

Batavia scored the game’s first run on a Mikey Hernandez double in the fifth.

David Vinsky produced the lone multi-hit game for the Spikes, who were looking to complete a sweep of the three-game series.

State College starter Michael YaSenka delivered his second straight quality start to start his tenure with the Spikes. YaSenka allowed one unearned run on five hits and a walk while striking out six batters over six innings of work.

Jacob Schlesener then produced two scoreless frames on the mound to follow YaSenka. Eric Lex (0-2) took the loss for the Spikes after yielding two runs, one of them earned, on two hits and a walk while striking out two batters over two innings.

Batavia closer Evan Brabrand (3-1) earned the win. Brabrand, who leads the New York-Penn League with 11 saves, tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out one batter in the victory.

The Spikes, now 4 ½ games back of the Muckdogs in the NYPL Pinckney Division and 3 ½ back of Brooklyn in the race for the league’s lone Wild Card berth, now start a three-game series against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies) on Sunday night at 5:05 p.m.

State College will send right-hander Junior Gonzalez (2-3) to the mound for the series opener, while Williamsport is slated to go with right-hander Tyler Burch (2-1).

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