STATE COLLEGE - Samuel Gonzalez's solo home run in the ninth inning gave the State College Spikes a glimmer of hope late, but a three-run eighth inning by the Hudson Valley Renegades proved too much to overcome in the Spikes' 4-2 defeat on Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Gonzalez, who smashed State College's (23-20) first homer of the year back on July 3 at home against Batavia, struck again when he hammered a 2-1 pitch from Hudson Valley (28-15) reliever Ian Kendall (1-0) over the left field wall.
However, the Renegades had already put up a trifecta of runs during the inning before Gonzalez's blast.
Joey Rickard started the frame with a walk, then advanced to third on Tommy Coyle's single to the left side. Luke Maile then followed with a ball that burned the first-base line before caroming off of the bag into right field. Rickard scored easily on the hit, and Coyle then crossed the plate on an errant throw by right fielder Jesus Vasquez.
Hudson Valley then added one more run when Ryan Dunn sent a flyball deep to center field that, despite a diving over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track by Alex Fuselier, plated Maile.
State College had fallen behind early in the game when Rickard drove in DeShun Dixon for the Renegades' first run to snap Spikes starter Clay Holmes's 21-inning scoreless streak. Holmes worked in and out of trouble throughout his 4 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing a total of two hits and five walks. The 19-year-old righty yielded only that one run, though, and struck out four to keep his earned run average at a paltry 0.94.