BATAVIA, N.Y. - Chris Diaz hit his first pro home run and Clay Holmes tossed five scoreless innings but it wasn't until the State College Spikes scored two 10th-inning runs on three wild pitches that they put away a 4-2 win over Batavia Muckdogs Tuesday night at Dwyer Stadium.
Holmes continued his dominant season on the mound, facing just one batter over the minimum during his outing. The 19-year-old right-hander gave up only one hit and two walks while striking out three batters to lower his earned run average to a New York-Penn League-best 0.83.
State College (26-23) gave Holmes some cushion to work with starting in the third inning. Jodaneli Carvajal led off that frame with a single, and ended up at third base after a throwing error by Batavia (24-24) left fielder Gary Apelian. One batter later, Walker Gourley doubled down the third-base line to score Carvajal and give the Spikes a 1-0 lead.
Diaz extended the State College advantage to 2-0 with his solo homer to left field. The N.C. State product drove the first pitch of the inning from Muckdogs starter Ben Freeman over the fence for his first home run since getting drafted by the Pirates in the 11th round this June.
However, Batavia would come back with a pair of runs in the sixth inning off of Spikes reliever Kevin Kleis. Matthew Young started the inning with a walk, and moved to second base on a wild pitch to set up Gary Apelian's run-scoring double off of the batter's eye in center field. Danny Stienstra then brought in Apelian with a two-out single to tie the game.
The score remained the same all the way until the 10th, when State College got the offense rolling with several assists from Batavia's Joe Scanio (1-3) on the hill. D.J. Crumlich jumpstarted things with a one-out single, then stole second base. After a wild pitch moved Crumlich to third, Jacob Stallings walked to put runners at the corners.
Stallings then broke for second with Diaz at the plate, and Scanio uncorked another wild pitch to bring Crumlich home and send Stallings to third. A third wild pitch by the Muckdogs' final reliever would allow Stallings to score with the game's final run.
Kyle Haynes (2-1) got the final six outs on the slab to nail down the win for State College. Haynes gave up two hits, but struck out a pair of batters as well in the victory.
Scanio took the loss after allowing a total of two runs, both earned, on two hits and a walk over two innings on the mound. Freeman made his longest outing with Batavia on Monday night, going seven innings and yielding two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks while striking out five.
The win enabled State College to stay in second place in the Pinckney Division, 3 1/2 games back of Auburn.
Wednesday, the Spikes complete the first portion of their upstate New York swing with a 7:05 p.m. contest at Dwyer Stadium to finish off a two-game set against the Muckdogs. Right-hander Jason Creasy (0-2) gets the ball for State College, while Batavia turns to left-hander Tyler Melling (2-1) on the hill.