STATE COLLEGE - Justin Bencsko delivered a walk-off home run to end the game in the ninth inning as the State College Spikes came from five runs down in the seventh inning to defeat the Batavia Muckdogs, 7-6, Monday at Medlar Field.
Bencsko sent a 3-2 pitch from Batavia reliever Ricky Martinez (0-1) to the bleachers in right field with one out in the ninth inning to give State College back-to-back wins for the second time in 2011, with both Sunday and Monday's wins coming in the Spikes' final at-bat.
State College (7-18) was down 6-1 after Batavia got a solo homer from Joey Bergman off Stetson Allie and scored another run on a passed ball in the top of the seventh inning. The Spikes started to come back, though, when Matt Skirving delivered his first double of the game to knock in Samuel Gonzalez, followed by a looping single by Alex Fuselier to plate Skirving.
The Spikes then added three more runs in the eighth inning.
Batavia (13-12) had taken four out of five games against State College and looked to take the series after scoring three runs off Spikes starter Ryan Hafner in the second inning to take the game's first lead. Singer's first triple of the game brought in Bencsko in the third inning to give State College its first run, but the Muckdogs benefited from a Spikes error in the fourth inning to bump their lead up to 4-1.
Singer and Gonzalez each delievered three hits, while Bencsko, Skirving and Chris Lashmet had two apiece. The Spikes' total of 14 hits was the highest in any game this season, and the win gave them their second series victory of the year at home.
Kevin Kleis (1-1) retired six consecutive batters over the last two innings to earn the victory. Allie allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out one over two innings of work. Hafner was tagged for four runs, three of them earned, on five hits and two walks over four innings.
Martinez faced just two batters in the loss for Batavia. Muckdogs starter Seth Maness made another strong outing against the Spikes, yielding his first earned run in six appearances as a professional on six hits and striking out three batters over six innings.
After an off day Tuesday, the Spikes will head to New York City to take on the Staten Island Yankees, who hold the New York-Penn League's best record at 19-4.