STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes welcomed a record 507 dogs and the second-largest human walk-up crowd in ballpark history to Medlar Field for Bark in the Park Night Monday, where the Spikes dropped a 5-3 decision to the Batavia Muckdogs.
State College (8-7) battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to draw within striking distance of Batavia (7-8) with a three-run fifth inning. The Spikes' offensive assault started with back-to-back singles by Samuel Gonzalez and Ryan Hornback. After Jacob Stallings grounded into a fielder's choice, an errant throw allowed him to get to second and Gonzalez to score the first State College run.
Follwing a walk to Yhonathan Barrios and a single by Walker Gourley, Rodarrick Jones delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single to draw the Spikes within 4-3. However, despite chasing Muckdogs starter Joe Cuda from the mound and re-loading the bases, the Spikes could not produce any more runs.
State College's early deficit came as starter Clay Holmes (2-1) faced his first adversity as a professional, giving up four runs over 3 2/3 innings and taking the loss. Holmes allowed the first two earned runs of his pro career in the second inning when Batavia catcher Jesus Montero doubled in two runners to give the Muckdogs a 2-0 lead. The right-hander then yielded an RBI triple to Patrick Wisdom in the third innings and saw an unearned run score in the fourth.
Holmes allowed a total of three earned runs on five hits and two walks while hitting one batter and striking out four. The Pirates' 2011 ninth-round draft choice has now earned a decision in each of his first three career starts.
Batavia would add another run in the seventh inning when David Washington doubled and Montero singled him in to produced the game's final result.
Lance Breedlove pitched 2 1/3 innings of two-hit, shutout ball after taking over for Holmes. The Purdue product also struck out a pair of batters.
Muckdogs reliever Lee Stoppelman (2-0) got credit for the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings following Cuda. Stoppelman allowed one baserunner on an error and struck out four in the effort.
The loss snapped the Spikes' six-game unbeaten streak at home to start the season.
Tuesday, the Spikes and Muckdogs complete their three-game series with a 7:05 p.m. matchup. State College will have right-hander Jason Creasy (0-1) starting on the mound, while Batavia goes with left-hander Ben O'Shea (0-0).