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Late homer lifts Spikes

STATE COLLEGE  —

Jonatan Machado smashed a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning to cap a five-run frame as the State College Spikes came back to defeat the Batavia Muckdogs, 7-5, on Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Machado’s home run to the right field bleachers, his first of the season, came on a 1-2 pitch from Jonaiker Villalobos. The Spikes (14-11) center fielder collected a total of three hits during the night and stole two bases.

The door was opened for a State College comeback when, with runners on first and second and one out in the eighth, Martin Figueroa hit a potential double-play ball that Batavia (15-9) shortstop Dalvy Rosario bobbled, loading the bases.

Brylie Ware then knocked in two runs with a single to left field, with a wild pitch moving him to second and Figueroa to third before Machado’s homer two batters later.

Ware reached base four times during the game, going 2-for-2 with a double, three RBI and two walks.

Jack Ralston (1-0) earned the win in relief for State College. Ralston, the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2019 seventh-round draft choice out of UCLA, allowed one walk and struck out four batters over two scoreless innings.

Leonardo Tavares (1) set down all three batters in order in the ninth for the save. Tavares, who struck out two batters in his inning of work, has retired all 12 batters he has faced since joining the Spikes on June 30.

Batavia took the lead in the fourth on Jack Strunc’s two-run homer to left field, his first of the year. The Muckdogs then extended the lead to 5-2 in the fifth on Brayan Hernandez’s second homer of the season, a two-run shot also to left field.

Nic Ready doubled twice for Batavia to run his season total to a New York-Penn League-leading 15.

Edison Suriel (1-1) was tagged with the loss after being charged with four runs, one of them earned, on two hits and a walk over 1 2/3 innings. Suriel also struck out two batters.

The Spikes will now hit the road for their first series outside the NYPL Pinckney Division this year as they meet the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros)

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