STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes became the State College Haymakers on Friday night for "What If Night," but fell behind early as Victor Sanchez, Nick Longmire and Jon Rodriguez combined to start the game 6-for-6 and give the Batavia Muckdogs a 7-3 win at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Batavia (38-27) took a 2-0 lead after the first inning, and a 3-0 lead after three frames, with Rodriguez providing all three RBI. The Muckdogs added another pair of runs in the sixth before the once and future Spikes (32-34) plated a run on Adalberto Santos's groundout in the sixth inning. Gerlis Rodriguez knocked in both of the Haymakers' last two runs, but Batavia added two insurance runs late to hold on for the win.
State College manager Gary Robinson did not stick around to see the end of the game after being ejected by home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz in the sixth inning. However, before he left, Robinson covered the plate in dirt, kicked more dirt on top of it. The Spikes' skipper proceeded to take first base, sign it, and give it to a fan in the second row.
Cole White doubled twice for the Haymakers, who fell to Batavia for just the second time this season. State College also had two more opportunities to tie the game in the bottom of ninth inning with the bases loaded, but could not come up with the final blow.
In addition to assuming the Haymakers name for the duration of the night, State College players and coaches wore special Haymakers jerseys that were put up for bids in a silent auction during the game to benefit the Centre County United Way. Winning bidders receieved their jerseys immediately after the game concluded.
Zac Fuesser (0-3) started and took the loss for State College, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out one over five innings of work.
Batavia starter Andrew Moss (7-2) picked up the victory by yielding two runs on three hits and three walks over seven innings. Moss also struck out three in the win. Justin Wright (1) earned the save by notching the final two outs with the bases juiced.
Saturday, the Spikes go back to normal to finish off a two-game mini-series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park against the Muckdogs. The 7:05 p.m. matchup will feature State College right-hander Tyler Waldron (4-5), who has not allowed a run in his last 11 innings on the mound, against Batavia left-hander Justin Edwards (3-4).