BROOKLYN, NY – Imeldo Diaz’s game-tying single in the eighth brought the State College Spikes back from behind, but Jose Miguel Medina’s walk-off hit in the ninth gave the Brooklyn Cyclones a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at MCU Park.
Held to just one hit, a sun-aided double for Brandon Benson in the fifth, through seven innings, the Spikes (15-11) came alive in the eighth. Ricardo Bautista and Dennis Ortega each drew walks, and Diaz’s ground ball up the middle plated Bautista to make it 1-1.
However, despite loading the bases with one out in the eighth and getting a single from Bryce Denton in the ninth, the Spikes were unable to push across another run.
Brooklyn (7-19) then put two men on in the bottom of the ninth on Matt Winaker’s two-out single to right and Reed Gamache’s walk. Medina then tucked a base hit just inside the bag at third to bring in Winaker and end the game.
The Cyclones had scored first for the first time in the three-game series when an error brought home Walter Rasquin in the second.
Spikes starter Paul Balestrieri delivered six quality innings in his longest outing as a professional. The Cardinals’ 26th-round draft choice out of Cornell allowed a lone run on a total of six hits, two walks and a hit batsman. Balestrieri also struck out three batters on the game.
Reliever Robbie Gordon (0-3) took the loss, yielding the winning run on a total of two hits and two walks. Gordon also recorded one strikeout over 1 2/3 innings.
Brooklyn starter Gunner Kines tossed six scoreless innings. Kines gave up one hit and two walks while striking out three batters. Cyclones reliever Trey Cobb (1-0) went 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit and one walk while striking out four batters to earn the win.
Medina went 3-for-4 on the day for Brooklyn, including his 15th stolen base of the year. The Cyclones’ right fielder was caught stealing for the first time this season when Balestrieri threw to third ahead of his steal attempt in the third.
The Spikes will start a three-game series against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies) on Monday with a 7:05 p.m. matchup at BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. Right-hander Sam Tewes (2-2) gets the start on the mound for State College, while Williamsport will go with right-hander Julian Garcia (2-1).
After another road game at Williamsport on Tuesday,, the Spikes come back home on Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Crosscutters.