Win streak ends at five for Spikes

UNIVERITY PARK — Like all good things, winning streaks in baseball eventually come to an end.

After winning five in a row, State College fell short Tuesday night as Batavia edged the Spikes, 4-1, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

For the second night in a row, the Spikes featured good starting pitching, this time supplied by Jacob Schlesener.

For his no-decision outing, Schlesener worked 5 1/3 innings. The big lefty surrendered six hits, striking out five and walking two.

“Schlesener did a really, really good job, keeping us in the ball game by making some real good pitches,” Spikes manager Joe Kruzel said.

The Spikes took the initial lead with a single run in the third.

Nick Dunn picked up his second of three hits in the game with an infield single up the middle, went to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a single to left by Justin Toerner and scored on Stanley Espinal’s sacrifice fly to right field.

The State College lead was short-lived, however, as the Muckdogs tied the game on back-to-back doubles from J.D. Osborne and Sean Reynolds.

Adding on can be an important factor in winning a ball game, and for the Spikes, they couldn’t take advantage of two big scoring opportunities to get the job done.

“We had some opportunities to score some runs early in the game and even later in the game,” Kruzel said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on those opportunities tonight, and for them in the eighth and ninth, they were able to come up with the big hit when they needed it and we didn’t. I think that was the biggest difference in tonight’s game. During the streak we were able to come through with those hits. Even though we lost the game, we still battled and fought right to the end and you can’t ask them (Spikes players) to do any more than that.”

After holding the Muckdogs off the scoreboard with the sacks juiced in both the sixth and seventh innings, they couldn’t do it with first and third and nobody and out in the eighth as Batavia used a base on balls to Sean Reynolds and an RBI single to right by Matt Brooks to break the tie with a run.

Already leading 2-1, the Muckdogs tacked on a pair of runs in the ninth to set the final at 4-1.

The two teams will conclude the three-game series today with a matinee game slated for a High Noon first pitch.

“You can’t sit on this one too long,” Kruzel said. “You have to sleep fast tonight because it is an early game tomorrow so we’ll show up, tee it up and see what happens.”