STATE COLLEGE - The State College Spikes and the Batavia Muckdogs traded zeroes back and forth on the scoreboard on Sunday night until Chris Diaz brought in Rodarrick Jones in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Spikes a 1-0 win at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The game, which was the first in State College (8-6) history to go to a scoreless tie after the regulation nine innings, featured superb pitching performances on both sides.
Spikes starter and top Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Luis Heredia pitched five scoreless innings in the third outing of his State College career. Heredia allowed just three hits and struck out three batters while also eliciting a double play during his time on the mound. The 17-year-old right-hander has only allowed one earned run in 14 innings with the Spikes this season.
On the other side, Batavia (6-8) starter Tyler Melling retired the first ten batters he faced before yielding a single to Diaz in the fourth inning. Melling went into the sixth inning before allowing another baserunner, but faced a bases-loaded situation after a Walker Gourley single, an error on a Jones sacrifice attempt, and a walk. The southpaw forced an out at the plate on a groundball, though, and left the final out to reliever Joe Scanio. Melling yielded a total of two hits and one walk while striking out five over 5 1/3 innings.
Both bullpens kept the opponent off the board, with State College reliever Kyle Haynes getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning unscathed. However, Jones led off the bottom of the tenth inning with a line-drive single to center field off of Dyllon Nuernberg (0-1). After D.J. Crumlich moved Jones up with a sacrifice bunt and reached base himself on a throwing error by Muckdogs catcher Jesus Montero.
Diaz then delivered a single through the left side of a drawn-in infield to plate Jones and end the game. The Spikes shortstop was the only State College player with multiple hits in the contest.
Jordan Cooper (1-1) picked up the win for the Spikes after pitching a perfect tenth inning and notching a strikeout. It was Cooper's first Spikes win since August 4, 2011, when he earned the victory at Vermont.
Nuernberg took the loss without retiring a batter in the tenth inning.
Monday, State College faces Batavia in a 7:05 p.m. matchup at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Spikes send another teenage pitching star to the mound as 19-year-old right-hander Clay Holmes (2-0) makes the start. Holmes, the ninth-round draft choice of the Pirates in 2011, has not allowed an earned run in his first ten professional innings.
Batavia will go with right-hander Joe Cuda (1-0), who earned the win this past Tuesday against the Spikes at Dwyer Stadium.