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Courtesy of State College Spikes

BATAVIA, N.Y. – The State College Spikes used home runs from Brady Whalen and Justin Toerner, as well as a big seventh inning, to propel a 7-4 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs on Saturday night at Dwyer Stadium.


Whalen drilled the first pitch he saw over the right-field wall for a two-run homer in the fourth inning for his first long ball in a Spikes (9-13) uniform. In the ninth, Toerner added to State College’s sudden homer barrage with a solo shot to right on a 1-1 pitch to extend the Spikes’ lead to three runs.


State College has now hit four home runs in its last four games as a team after producing just one during the season’s first 18 games.

The Spikes needed a comeback to grab the win, though, and generated it in the seventh. Down 6-4 entering the frame, State College received back-to-back singles from Imeldo Diaz and Matt Duce to start its rally. After Andres Luna was hit by a pitch, Nick Dunn then drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the deficit to one run.


Toerner then tied the game as he reached on an error, and two batters later, Whalen drew another walk with the bases loaded to give State College the lead. Stanley Espinal’s sacrifice fly one batter after that free pass completed the Spikes’ big stanza.


Batavia (10-11) had taken the lead in the fifth with a four-run inning of its own, scoring all of its runs with two outs. The Muckdogs took advantage of two Spikes errors to help the outburst, with Michael Donadio’s single plating the only run that did not result from a miscue.


Chris Holba started and went a career-long 4 2/3 innings for the Spikes, yielding two runs, one of them earned, on two hits and three walks. Holba also struck out three batters on the night.


Troy Montemayor (1-1) followed Holba on the mound, and, after yielding two unearned runs in the fifth, picked up his first professional win with 1 1/3 innings of relief. Montemayor gave up a total of two hits and a walk while striking out two batters.


Edgar Gonzalez then produced two scoreless innings of work, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out three hitters, before Kevin Hamman (2) earned the save with a scoreless, hitless ninth inning. Hamman also recorded one strikeout during the frame.


Batavia starter Alberto Guerrero notched a quality start as he gave up two runs, one of them earned, on three hits and two walks over six innings. Guerrero also collected seven strikeouts in the effort.

Reliever Karl Craigie (0-1) took the loss after facing five State College batters to begin the seventh without recording an out. Craigie was charged with all four Spikes runs in the inning, all of them earned, on two hits, a walk and a hit batsman.


The Spikes, who are now 3-1 on their road trip, will face the Muckdogs in the middle game of their three-game set in a 1:05 p.m. matinee matchup at Dwyer Stadium on Sunday. Right-hander Angel Rondon (0-3), who leads the State College with 23 innings pitched, gets the start for the Spikes.


Batavia will go with left-hander Martin Anderson (0-0).


After the series against the Muckdogs, and an off day on the New York-Penn League slate on Tuesday, the Spikes are home at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a six-game homestand from Wednesday, July 11 to Monday, July 16, with three games each against the Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland Athletics) and Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros).

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