STATE COLLEGE - Kirk Singer tied a State College Spikes record with two triples, including the game-winner in the eighth inning, and Carlos Mesa mashed his first professional homer as the Spikes came from behind to beat the Batavia Muckdogs, 8-7, on Sunday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Singer tied the record held by teammate Taylor Lewis and 2009 Spike Elevys Gonzalez with his pair of triples, but it was Mesa who got the Spikes (6-18) off to a flying start. After Justin Bencsko scored on Chris Lashmet's sacrifice fly to tie the game, 1-1, in the first inning, Mesa sent a 3-2 pitch into the left field Picnic Pavilion to bring in three runs and give State College a 4-1 lead.
Batavia (13-11) responded with a run in the fourth inning, but Singer struck for the first time with an RBI triple in the fourth to bring Alex Fuselier home and give the Spikes a 5-2 edge. Walker Gourley then reached base on an error to bring in Singer and make it 6-2, State College.
State College starter Matt Benedict then encountered his first trouble of the night in the sixth inning, allowing Juan Castillo to double home two runs and cut the Spikes' margin to 6-4. Reliever Cliff Archibald got the final two outs of the frame to stop the Muckdogs rally, but yielded three runs of his own in the seventh on a David Medina base hit and another Castillo double to put Batavia up, 7-6.
The Spikes would have one last scoring burst in them, however, as Samuel Gonzalez started it off with a one-out single in the eighth. Mesa then delivered a base hit to advance Gonzalez to second, and Singer's record-tying second three-bagger brought them both in with what ended the game as the winning runs.
Mesa ended the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Lewis extended his on-base streak to 14 games with a pair of walks and a hit by pitch. State College also had a productive night on the bases, going 6-for-6 in steal attempts as a team to finish one shy of the club record.
The win also snapped a seven game-losing streak for the Spikes, who earned their first victory of the year over the Muckdogs.
Vince Payne (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth inning and struck out one batter to earn his first win of the year, while Mitch Fienemann (3) allowed one hit and nothing more in the ninth inning to pick up the save. Benedict made his third start of five innings or more on the year, allowing a total of four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three over 5 1/3 frames.
Daniel Miranda (0-1) allowed both of the Spikes' eighth-inning runs on a total of three hits over 1 2/3 innings to take the loss for Batavia. Miranda, who struck out two, blew his first save in six opportunities this season. Castillo went 4-for-4 with 4 runs batted in for the Muckdogs.
Monday, the Spikes finish off a stretch of six consecutive matchups with the Muckdogs in a 7:05 p.m. contest at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. State College will go with right-hander Ryan Hafner (0-1) on the mound. Batavia counters with right-hander Seth Maness (0-0), who has not allowed an earned run in 2011.