The Muckdogs were able to win their first series of the year behind 19-year-old Jordan Holloway’s strong start.
The 6-foot-4-inch righty kept the Mahoning Valley Scrappers off balance all night in route to a 7-4 Muckdog victory.
Most of the young players on the Muckdogs are not used to the grind of playing every day. With the unexpected day off on Wednesday because of rain, the Muckdogs look to have gotten some much needed time away because they are playing much better baseball as of late.
“When you aren’t playing as well as we were playing, time off of the field always helps,” Manager Angel Espada said. “Hopefully it helped us, but for some reason they are playing much better."
In the first inning, Holloway was able to work around a one-out walk to Scrappers left-fielder Ka’ai Tom by striking out DH Emmanuel Tapia and getting Nathan Winfrey to fly-out to left.
Holloway was able to work a perfect second inning while only throwing five pitches. The only trouble of the game for Holloway came in the third inning.
Connor Marabell led off the inning with a single and was moved to second by a Silento Sayles groundout to second.
Willi Castro doubled to right, scoring Marabell. Tom doubled, setting up runners at second and third with one out.
Holloway struck out Winfrey, but he was able to advance to first when catcher Blake Anderson couldn’t corral the loose ball in the dirt. Castro scored from third.
Holloway got out of the inning by getting Li-Jen Chu to fly-out to leftfield.
“We are talking about a 19-year-old kid who is learning how to pitch," Espada said. "It’s only his second year in pro ball and he is handling it pretty well. It’s just one day at a time, one start at a time with a young guy like him.”
Just like most of the season so far, the top of the Muckdogs lineup has carried them.
Anfernee Seymour and Stone Garrett combined to go 7-for-8 with four runs scored and three RBIs to lead the way for Batavia.
The scoring for the Muckdogs started in the first inning when Seymour knocked a single. Garrett beat out an infield single to short to set up first and second with one out.
A Korey Dunbar groundout to shortstop moved both runners up 90 feet. Seymour scampered home after a ball got by Chu, making it 1-0.
Batavia plated three more runs in the second all with two outs.
Ninth place hitter Joe Chavez and Seymour worked two-out walks. Giovanny Alfonzo doubled, scoring both Chavez and Seymour.
Garrett laced a ball in the gap for a triple, scoring Alfonzo making the game 4-0.
The Scrappers changed pitchers, bringing in 6-foot-6-inch James Stokes, who struck out Dunbar to end the threat.
Seymour would again be involved in Batavia’s scoring efforts in the fourth.
The speedy shortstop singled and stole second, even though the Scrappers called for a pitchout. He stole third and dashed home after the throw got away from the Scrappers' third baseman.
Seymour alone made the game 5-2. But the Muckdogs were not done.
In the sixth inning, Galvi Moscat singled up the middle, followed by Seymour and Alfonzo both getting hit by a pitch.
The hot hitting Garrett stepped into the plate and squeezed a ball down the first base line scoring two.
“They have been swinging well the whole season,” Espada said about Seymour and Garrett.
LJ Brewster and Steve Farnworth finished the game up for Holloway without allowing a run and only allowing three hits over three innings of combined work.
Garrett finished the day going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles. Seymour was 3-for-3 with four runs scored.
Holloway pitched six innings while striking out five and walking two in his first win of the season.
The Muckdogs improve to 3-11 on the season and look to continue their moment going into this weekend's games in West Virginia.
Batavia returns to Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday, July 8, against the Auburn Doubledays.
Photos by Steve Ognibene.