STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes battled back from a late deficit to force extra innings, and Ronald Castillo delivered the game-ending single in the 11th inning to give the Spikes their sixth walk-off win of the year with a 2-1 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs on Monday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The win allowed State College (35-23) to keep pace with Jamestown and remain tied atop the Pinckney Division with the best record in the New York-Penn League.
Down 1-0 going into the eighth inning, the Spikes tied it up as Steven Ramos manufactured a run. Ramos singled to left field, then stole second base and came all the way around to score on the play via an errant throw to center field.
In the eleventh, Cesar Valera got the final rally going as he beat out an infield single. Brett Wiley then followed with a base hit to left-center field, and after reliever Miguel Del Pozo walked David Washington to load the bases, Castillo brought in the winning run with his single to center field.
Once again, the Spikes received quality pitching to help keep the game within reach. State College starter Kevin Herget allowed just one unearned run on four hits and two walks as he lasted a career-long six innings. Herget also struck out five batters.
Victor DeLeon (3-2) then capped five innings of scoreless relief by not allowing a hit or run over his 1 1/3 frames on the mound to earn the win. DeLeon struck out one.
Batavia (29-27) starter Jarlin Garcia put together five shutout innings in which he gave up three hits and struck out two. Reliever Sean Townsley (0-1) was dominant over his first two innings of work, striking out five in a row, but was tagged with the loss after allowing two hits and being charged with the winning run.
Ramos was the only Spike with multiple hits, going 2-for-5 to bump his league-leading average up to .360.
Avery Romero picked up the lone Muckdogs RBI with a single to knock in Luis Ortiz in the sixth.
The loss put Batavia five games behind State College and Jamestown in both the Pinckney Division and wild card races.
Today the Spikes begin a three-game series against the Williamsport Crosscutters (Philadelphia Phillies) with a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Historic Bowman Field. State College will have right-hander Juan Bautista (1-3) on the mound. Bautista is coming off a sterling performance last time out on Wednesday against Mahoning Valley in which he allowed just one unearned run over seven innings. Williamsport is slated to start right-hander Shane Martin (3-3), who has not faced the Spikes this year.
State College is 3-0 at Historic Bowman Field during the 2013 season.
Following the trip to Williamsport, the Spikes return home on Wednesday for a 7:05 p.m. matchup against the Crosscutters at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.