During the first couple weeks of a baseball season, it is very rare to see a team clicking on all cylinders. On opening night Friday, the Muckdogs came across just that in the Auburn Doubledays.
In front of a crowd of 2,004 excited and eager fans, the Muckdogs were unable to score and dropped their opening game by the score of 10-0.
From the very first inning, the Doubledays were locked in and jumped on Muckdog starting pitcher Gabriel Castellanos.
“He competed. He just wasn’t able to put any hitters away,” Head Coach Angel Espada said.
Clay Williamson started the scoring in the top of the first inning when he reached on a fielder’s choice and later scored on an RBI single by DH David Kerian.
The Doubledays plated another run in the second after first baseman Diomedes Eusebio singled with two outs and then scored on ninth-place hitter Edwin Lora’s RBI triple.
Auburn’s starting pitcher, Robbie Dickey, was sharp from the beginning.
Dickey would not let a Muckdog past second base until the third inning. In what was Batavia’s best chance at scoring all night, Anfernee Seymour singled and then stole second. The throw to second was miss played and the speedy shortstop moved to third.
Centerfielder Stone Garrett then was walked to set up first and third for the Muckdogs. Unfortunately, they were unable to plate any runs as first baseman Eric Fisher struck out to end the inning.
After the third inning the floodgates opened and the Doubledays broke the game wide open.
Behind leadoff hitter Bryan Mejia’s big night at the plate, Auburn was able to score three runs in the fourth, two runs in the fifth and another three runs in the seventh.
Mejia was 3-4 with two doubles, a single and three RBIs to lead the way for the Doubledays. Lora also started off the season hot with a triple, double and two RBIs.
Getting their only two hits of the game earlier on, it seemed after the score got out of hand the Muckdogs seemed to concede defeat at the plate.
“At this level, with young hitters, once the game gets one-sided you just try to push,” Espada said.
With starting the season off on such a low note offensively, Espada believes it is important they come back out tomorrow and get some runs on the board.
“After this type of game you want to get on the other team and put some pressure and feel some confidence,” he said.
Luis Torres got the win on the mound for Auburn. He pitched five innings of relief for Dickey. Torres keep the Muckdog hitters off balance all night. He had three strikeouts and one walk.
Picking up the loss was Castellanos as he only went three and two-thirds innings. He allowed five hits, four runs and walked two.
Although opening the season with a 10-0 defeat, Espada is still optimistic that this will be a successful 2015 campaign for the Muckdogs.
“Tomorrow’s another day and you just got to regroup. The good part about it is these guys got the jitters out.”
The Muckdogs continue their three-game series against the Doubledays tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.
Photos by Steve Ognibene.
Reliver Juan Guzman.
John Kennedy School's fourth-grade chorus singing at the seventh-inning stretch.