STATE COLLEGE - A troublesome third inning where one ball got out of the infield, turned into five Batavia runs as the visiting Muckdogs beat State College 7-3 in front of 2,139 fans at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Thursday.
"We made a lot of errors," SpikeS manager Oliver Marmol said. "You make that many, you lose. We just gave them too many outs in that one inning. That five-run inning beat us."
Jake Stone quickly put the Spikes on the board with his first home run of the season, a bomb to center to stake starter Will Anderson (0-1) to a 2-0 lead.
The top of the third inning was one of those innings for State College.
The inning started with a ground ball that just got past Stone and into right field for a single by the eighth place hitter, Hiram Martinez.
On the very next pitch, Ryan Aper's swinging bunt went for a single when the State College catcher, Brian O'Keefe, couldn't get the speedy Aper.
Then it really started to unravel when a throwing error by Anderson loaded the bases with no outs.
Anderson induced another grounder to shortstop Andrew Sohn, but second baseman Robelys Reyes dropped the throw and the first Batavia run crossed the plate.
Carlos Duran came up next and hit a grounder to short, which took an in-between hop on Sohn and went into center for two more runs.
"I was trying to get two (outs) on it, so I was trying to stay on the bag," Sohn said. "I couldn't really get the hop. It came up too much on me and kind of handcuffed me."
Kevin Grove struck out and an Eric Fisher RBI groundout scored the fourth Batavia run of the inning.
Miles Williams grounded a ball to Reyes and it got through him for a third State College error of the inning and the fifth and final Muckdogs run of the inning, making it 5-2 visitors.
"When your infield makes errors and you have to throw more pitches, the inning just kind of drags on," Anderson said of the lengthened inning. "You just have to put it behind yourself and keep working through it."
"I think he did a good job of getting through it," Marmol added. "He continued to get ground balls and we continued to boot them. That type of play, I don't care what level, is unacceptable."
Batavia added another one in the top of the fourth on an RBI groundout to take a 6-2 advantage.
State College began its charge back in the bottom of the fourth.
Nick Thompson drew a lead-off walk then Rowan Wick launched what was a few feet from his sixth homer of the season, a double to dead center.
That put runners on second and third with no outs for O'Keefe, whose groundout brought home a run and made it 6-3.
The Spikes got runners on first and second with one out to start bottom of the fifth, but Batavia starter Andy Beltre (1-0) escaped the inning by getting Jake Stone and Nick Thompson swinging to end the inning.
"I felt like we left our approach at times," Marmol said. "We couldn't really string it together and get the big hit."
Anderson was removed after five innings after allowing six runs, one of them earned, and striking out four batters.
Aaron Blanton's sacrifice fly to right field tacked on another run for Batavia in the top half of the sixth inning off State College reliever Jeff Rauh.
State College threatened with two outs in the home half of the seventh inning.
Danny Diekroeger singled past the Muckdogs shortstop and Stone chopped a single over the first baseman's head to put runners on the corners and Thompson coming to the plate.
Tyler Kane entered for Batavia and induced a Thompson groundout to shortstop to end the inning and the threat.
Batavia got four innings of scoreless relief by Hayden Fox, and Kane to secured the victory.
"The starter (Beltre) was throwing hard," Sohn said. "The relievers have good arms, but it was a little easier to see. They kept the ball down a little. I was just trying to see the ball up and hit it hard."
The Spikes will host Batavia again tonight at 7:05 p.m.
State College will send Dewin Perez (1-0, 0.00) to the mound and the Muckdogs will have Jose Adams (0-0, 3.60) take the hill in a matchup of right-handers.