Spikes go long; it’s worth it

BATAVIA, N.Y. – The State College Spikes played their second-longest game in franchise history on Monday night, but it was well worth it as Luis Perez’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly plated the go-ahead run and ended the Spikes’ nine-game road skid with a 2-1 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs in a 13-inning affair at Dwyer Stadium.

State College (21-19) took 4 hours, 21 minutes to put away Batavia.

Both teams scored in the fourth inning for the only runs of the game until the last frame. State College brought in its first run when Carson Kelly doubled in Bruce Caldwell in the top half of the inning. Batavia responded by taking advantage of two Spikes errors and a wild pitch to tie the game in the bottom half.

The Muckdogs stranded 17 runners on base over the course of the game, while the Spikes left 12 runners on base.

Jacob Booden (2-0), one of six pitchers on the night for the Spikes, picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief in the 11th and 12th. Booden allowed one hit and two walks while striking out one. Jhonny Polanco (1) hammered down the win with two strikeouts as part of a perfect 13th inning for the save. Polanco’s spotless work was one of just two 1-2-3 innings for Spikes pitching on the night.

Caldwell scored both runs for State College, coming in on Perez’s sacrifice fly. The Spikes’ DH started off the rally with a leadoff single in the 13th, and moved to second on David Washington’s base hit. After Carson Kelly sacrificed the runners to second and third, Mason Katz was intentionally walked to set up Perez’s heroics.

Perez also assisted the Spikes’ cause on the defensive end, throwing out two runners at the plate from left field.

Batavia reliever Casey McCarthy (2-4) took the loss after yielding the Spikes’ winning run on a total of three hits and a walk while striking out one over three innings of work.

State College earned its first road win since a 3-1 win over Williamsport on July 3.

The Spikes now head home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, where they are 11-3 over their last 14 games, to begin a six-game homestand with a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros). State College is scheduled to send right-hander Andrew Pierce (0-2) to the mound for the opener of a three-game set. Tri-City is set to go with left-hander Randall Fant (1-1).