The wins have been few and far between for the Batavia Muckdogs thus far in the season, but in front of a near sell-out crowd on Friday night, they were able to finally reach double-digit victories.
The Muckdogs jumped on the visiting Tri-City Valleycats (18-15) right from the beginning of the game, scoring in each of the first four innings.
Like he has all season, Anfernee Seymour sparked the offense with his lightning-quick speed. Seymour struck out to start the game but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Seymour to take first.
Seymour then stole second for his 15th stolen base of the year, tying the Valleycats’ own Johnny Sewald for the league lead.
Hot hitting Brad Haynal then singled home Seymour for his 15th RBI of the season.
“They have been competing and trying their best,” Manager Angel Espada said. “We can’t forget these guys did the toughest thing to do in baseball and they did it, which is to throw a perfect game.”
Batavia continued it's hot start in the second when Taylor Munden singled and then two passed balls allowed him to advance to third. Cameron Newell, who came into the game hitting an abysmal .091, tripled to score Munden and make it 2-0.
Travis Brewster was able to plate Newell with a sacrifice fly to short leftfield.
Coming into the game, Valleycat starting pitcher Dean Deetz led the league with a 4-1 record on the mound, but Batavia seemed to have his number all night.
Alexander Fernandez belted a solo home run in the third inning to make it 4-0.
“We took advantage of their mistakes and that’s what you have to do as hitters,” Espada said. “If they make a mistake you have to make them pay.”
The offensive barrage continued in the fourth when Newell was hit by a pitch and moved to second, thanks to a gorgeous sacrifice bunt by Travis Brewster. Lead-off man Seymour then smacked a single to score Newell, but the Muckdogs were not done.
After a strike out by Fernandez, Stone Garrett connected on his league leading sixth home run of the season.
“I’ve just been not pressing more and telling myself I have more time to see the ball,” Garret said. “When you’re pressing you’re jumping out at everything and swinging at balls in the dirt.”
If you have followed any part of the Muckdogs' season, you know that they have struggled to put a complete game together and Friday night was no exception.
After getting a run back in the fifth, Tri-City was able to score four runs in the seventh-inning to pull within just two runs of Batavia.
Fourth-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma, Anthony Hemelyn started the inning with a single and was quickly plated by a Pat Porter RBI triple. Sewald then singled home Porter making it 7-3.
Antonio Nunez walked with one out and then both runners were moved up 90 feet because of a passed ball. Bryan Muniz singled to score Sewald, closing the gap to 7-4.
“We are going to have to earn everything and nothing is going to be given to us,” Espada said. “It’s just one of the seasons.”
After a pitching change, Bobby Wernes grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Nunez and getting the score to 7-5.
Jordan Hillyer was able to get out of the inning without any more damage.
Batavia responded by adding a run the bottom half of the inning after a Garrett double and Haynal single to set up first and third. Munden was able to get the ball far enough out of the infield for a sacrifice fly.
Tri-City was able to get that run back in the eighth to make it 8-6 but that is the closest they would get.
Steve Farnworth worked a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save of the year.
“It feels good to play error-free baseball all nine innings and just get 27 outs and no more,” Garrett said.
Seven of the nine Batavia hitters collected a RBI for the game. Munden went 3-for-3 with two singles, a double and a RBI while Garrett was 2-for-5 with a two-run home run and a double.
Scott Squier got the win on the mound after going a strong five innings. He gave up one run, two hits and struck out three.
“He went out there and competed and found a way to get it done,” Espada said about Squier.
“The last couple games we have been playing clean baseball and who’s to stay we can’t turn this thing around defensively, too,” Espada said. “We still have 40-something games left and it can be done.”
Batavia improves to 10-23 on the season and will look to keep the positive flow going on Saturday night against Tri-City. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m.