STATE COLLEGE - Some people would say there is no such thing as an ugly win. However, in terms of losses, they can be extremely ugly at times.
Thursday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the State College Spikes came out on the short end of a very ugly loss, 8-4, in eleven innings to the Batavia Muckdogs.
As for the ugliness, you don't have to look very far. Eight wild pitches, three passed balls and four errors pretty well sold the fate of the Spikes.
Sentinel photo by CHRISTOPHER?SHANNON
State College’s Leobaldo Pina tries to turn a double play as Williamsport’s Derek Campbell is out at second base during the Spikes’ game against the Crosscutters Monday evening at Medlar Field.
"From the very beginning of the game, both teams played ugly baseball," Spikes manager Oliver Marmol said. "Not a whole lot went well and it came down to the team that made the fewest amount of errors was going to win it. I don't care what level you are playing at, what we saw tonight is just not good baseball."
With the multitude of mistakes made by the Spikes, although they were able to stay close, winning the game wasn't going to happen.
"You are going to lose a lot of them, as a matter of fact you are probably going to lose every one of them unless the other team matches you," Marmol said. "Any way you look at it, it was just bad baseball."
The Muckdogs wasted no time at all jumping out to a lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.
Carlos Duran singled to center, Kevin Grove drove an RBI triple to the deepest part of the outfield and Eric Fisher made it three hits in a row for Batavia with an RBI single to right.
The Spikes took their only lead in the game with three runs in the bottom of the second with a little help from the Muckdog defense.
With singles by Leobaldo Pina, Collin Radack and Robelys Reyes along with a passed ball and a pair of Batavia errors, just like that it was 3-2 Spikes.
The 3-2 Spikes lead held up until the fifth when State College played its version of Santa Claus in June.
With one out, Aaron Blanton singled to left, went to second on a wild pitch, charged to Perez, advanced to third on a balk called against the Spikes lefty and scored when another wild pitch by Perez allowed Blanton to scoot across the plate with the tying run.
With the bullpens of both clubs holding down the fort, the Muckdogs scored what could have been the game winner in the top of the ninth with a lot of help from the Spikes.
Hiram Martinez reached on a strikeout, wild pitch, and was sacrificed to second by Ryan Aper. The Spikes chose to load the bases with an intentional walk before Martinez scampered home when Blanton's ground ball couldn't be handled by State College third baseman Danny Diekroeger.
Not to be denied, the Spikes never allowed the Fat Lady to sing her song at the time as they battled back from the 4-3 deficit to tie the game at 4-all. Taking care of business for the Spikes with their backs to the wall were Pina, Radack and Reyes with three straight singles.
Unfortunately for State College, the wheels came off their wagon in the top of the eleventh inning when things got ugly and as a result, the Muckdogs scored four runs to set the final.
As for being in position to win the game in spite of the way they played, Marmol didn't even want to hear about that.
"I really don't care about still being in position," Marmol said. "It should have been where I could have been four or five runs ahead. The way we played tonight is totally unacceptable and embarrassing while representing the Cardinal organization."
As for the resilience of his players, Marmol was brief and to the point.
"Yeah, there will be factors in bouncing back, but that is why we are here," he said. "Some will, some won't. We'll have to evaluate things and those who won't learn from this and bounce back probably won't be around."
Now 4-3, the Spikes will embark on a four-game road trip with a pair of games in Jamestown followed by two in Batavia.
Daniel Poncedelton and Cody Schumaker will take to the bump for the Spikes against the Jammers, while Austin Gomber gets the call in the first game against the Muckdogs.