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June 28, 2015 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Silver Shoe Farm, batavia, agriculture, horses, carriage driving, sports.

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Silver Shoe Farm, on Pratt Road, Batavia, hosted today its 8th annual carriage driving competition, drawing drivers from throughout the region.

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June 27, 2015 - 11:03am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Brittney Ohol will go to post as the new parade marshal for the upcoming summer-fall meet.

Ohol grew up around harness racing while being raised by her grandparents (Mike and Brenda Ohol) who both competed on the Western New York circuit for more than 30 years. The 21-year-old Lockport High School graduate attended Medaille College for vet tech before deciding to return to harness racing as a full-time career.

After getting her trainer’s and qualifying driver’s licenses, Ohol started her own stable and now owns and races three horses. Besides conventional competition, she has also been involved with racing under saddle (RUS) in New York State.

Ohol started to learn the art of outriding from Wendy Ross at Tioga Downs in 2011 and has now worked with her on and off for over four years. In 2014, Ohol took the position full time at Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland. But after the meet ended there, she returned home because it was too far away from family.

When the job at Batavia Downs came available this year, the call went out to Brittney Ohol because she was a natural fit and the timing was right for her as well.

“I love having the opportunity to take this position at Batavia Downs. It’s close to my family and my home base where I know everybody so it makes it so much easier. I want to remain in the business as long as harness racing is around,” Ohol said. “I have two good horses named Paco and Cody and they allow me to do my job as well as I can. I am really looking forward to the upcoming meet to get started.”

“Brittney Ohol has a harness racing pedigree and has been a part of the racing community here at the Downs since she was a child,” said Todd Haight, director/general manager of Live Racing at Batavia Downs.

“Her abilities as a horsewoman combined with her passion for the sport makes her the perfect fit for this job and ensures high-quality assistance to all the horsemen who race here every night. We are very happy to have her on board.”

The 69th season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track begins on Monday, July 27 with a 6:35 p.m. post time.

June 27, 2015 - 10:56am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

Press release:

Horsemen should be advised that stall applications for the 69th season of live harness racing at Batavia Downs Gaming are now available at the track’s Web site (http://www.bataviadownsgaming.com/live-racing/wp-content/uploads/2015/04...) or can be picked up in person at the second floor reception desk inside America’s oldest lighted harness track. All stall requests must be received by July 10.

For the convenience of western New York horsemen who are currently racing at Buffalo Raceway, these applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horsemen’s Association office located on the backstretch of that track.

The 2015 Batavia Downs season features 70 race dates and includes eight matinee cards. The annual summer-fall meet commences on Monday, July 27 and concludes on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Live racing will be presented on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night basis except for Saturday Oct. 31 (Breeders Cup day) when racing will be conducted at 1:15 p.m.

Aside from that three-day rotation, five Sunday afternoon programs will be held beginning on Aug. 2 and continuing through the end of the month.

Monday racing includes opening night and holiday programs on Labor Day and Columbus Day.

Tuesday racing begins Sept. 15.

The season begins with evening post times of 6:35 p.m. and matinee post times of 1:15 p.m.

New this year, Tuesday post time moves to 4:30 p.m. while beginning on Oct. 21 all evening programs for the remainder of the season go off at 6:15 p.m., with an anticipated extra race each night being carded.

Stall applications can be mailed to the race office at 8315 Park Road, Batavia, NY 14020, Attn: Joe Zambito or faxed to 585-343-2451.

The backstretch opens for tack on July 19. Horses may begin arriving in the barn area on July 21.

June 24, 2015 - 11:12pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

History was made on Tuesday night as three Muckdog pitchers combined to throw the first perfect game in club history and only the fourth all-time in the New York-Penn League.

After his disappointing opening day start, Gabriel Castellanos was ready to right the ship and get Batavia its first win of the season.

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers came into the game hitting .256 as a team, good for sixth in the New York-Penn League.

Castellanos was sharp, confident and had all his pitches going to keep the hard-hitting Scrappers off balance all night.

“I was able to execute all my pitches, it was a team effort,” he said.

Castellanos would need just 35 pitches to get through the first nine batters of the game. Of the first nine batters he faced, Castellanos was able to strikeout six of them, four of which were looking.

In his previous start against the Auburn Doubledays, Castellanos only made it through three and two-thirds innings while allowing five runs on five hits. On Tuesday it was a different story.

After striking out the side in third, Castellanos would strike out two of three batters in the fourth and fifth innings, bringing his game total to 10 strikeouts.

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Gabriel Castellanos poses with his game ball after the Muckdogs complete their first perfect game in club history on Tuesday night. Photo taken by Stephen Ognibene. 

“He had all his pitches going. He threw strikes and got ahead of hitters and finished them,” Manager Angel Espada said.

If there was a moment in the game where the perfect game was in doubt, it was definitely in the sixth inning.

D’vone McClure would fly out to center to begin the inning. Nate Winfrey, who has yet to collect a hit this season, was able to work the count to 0-3.

Instead of making Castellanos throw a strike, Winfrey hacked at the 0-3 pitch and flew out to centerfielder Stone Garrett.

Castellanos would strike out Silento Sayles to finish the inning.

Heading into the seventh inning, Castellanos had only thrown 71 pitches, but being it's so early in the season and the fact that it's minor league baseball, many were wondering how long they would let him go.

Castellanos would again work a perfect seventh inning, striking out Mark Mathias and putting his final tally at 12 strikeouts on 86 pitches.

“That’s the minor leagues. We have pitching counts. We have caps on innings,” Espada said.

“He gave us his all and we pushed him to as far as we could.”

Brett Lilek would make his season debut in the eighth by striking out the side. Lilek’s first batter he faced was no walk in the park.

Scrapper DH Anthony Santander, who is hitting .550 this season, led off the eighth inning and seemed out matched by 6’4” lefty. Lilek was able to punch him out on four pitches.

Steve Farnworth came in for the save in the ninth, but it was definitely not a drama-free ninth inning.

McClure would lead off the inning by drilling the second pitch he saw toward the gap between first and second. First baseman Eric Fisher was able to tip it with his glove toward second; Giovanny Alfonzo was able to scamper to pick it up and throw it to Franworth who was covering first.

Farnworth would strike out Winfrey and then finish the game by getting Sayles to ground out to shortstop.

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First baseman Eric Fisher (29) stretches to catch a ball in the bottom of the ninth inning while Scrappers left-fielder Silento Sayles (9) runs to first. Photo taken by Stephen Ognibene. 

“It’s not easy to come out of the bullpen and do what they did,” Espada said.

Batavia’s lone run of the game came in the second inning when Korey Dunbar would double, followed by a Taylor Munden double. Dunbar would score from second making it 1-0 and all the runs the Muckdog pitchers would need.

Dunbar would finish the game 2-for-2 with a double and Anfernee Seymour would go 2-for-4 in the win.

Each hitter for the Scrappers ended the game with at least one strikeout. 

“You can’t describe it,” Espada said. “It came at a great moment for this group of kids.”

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The Muckdogs celebrate the perfect game and thier first win on Tuesday night. Photo taken by Stephen Ognibene. 

The Muckdogs are on the road for their next six games but return to Dwyer for a three-game series against Mahoning Valley starting on July 1 at 7:05 p.m.

June 24, 2015 - 9:48pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

Not much has gone right for the Batavia Muckdogs thus far in 2015, but that all changed earlier tonight against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3-3).

Three pitchers combined for the first perfect game in club history: 27 up, 27 down.

The perfect game is the first win of the season for Batavia (1-5).

Stay tuned for a full recap of the game.

June 23, 2015 - 1:57am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

If the first four games are going to be indicative of the Muckdogs 2015 season, Batavia players and fans are going to be in for a long season.

Coming off a three-game series against Auburn, where Batavia was swept, the Muckdogs were looking forward to welcoming the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, to Dwyer Stadium on Monday night.

Besides their opening day shutout, the Muckdogs have had little problem scoring runs and that trend continued against the Scrappers.

In the Muckdogs first at-bat leadoff hitter Anfernee Seymour was hit by the first pitch he saw. The speedy shortstop quickly stole second for his third stolen base of the season.

He would then move to third on a past ball and later score on a ground out by Giovanny Alfonzo. Hot hitting Stone Garrett would then blast the first pitch he saw over the outfield fence for his second homerun of the season.

The bats continued to stay hot for the Muckdogs in second when Galvi Moscat would single but move to second on a throwing error by the pitcher.

After a ground out by Taylor Munden, Travis Brewster would work a walk and set up first and third with one out.

Moscat would score after a single by Seymour. Brewster would steal third and quickly score after another past ball making the score 4-1.

Garrett would then hit a SAC fly, scoring Seymour. Alfonzo, who was walked, would also score in the second. Before the Scrappers could even catch their breath the score was 6-1.

If we learned anything from watching these Muckdogs, it is that no lead is ever safe.

In the top of third, Mark Mathias started off the inning with a bloop single. DH Anthony Sanatander would then connect on his second double of the game.

Catcher Li-Jen Chu would follow with a double of his own, scoring both runners and cutting the Batavia lead to 6-3.

The scored remained at 6-3 until the fifth inning. The Scrappers would plate five runs during the frame.

Mathias would start off the inning with a leadoff single. Santander, who already has two homeruns on the young season, would connect on his third homerun as he blasted one over the left field fence that still hasn’t landed yet.

Sicnarf Loopstock, who replaced starting first baseman Emmanuel Tapia in the fifth inning, would work a walk. After a Nathan Lukes' infield single, both runners would move up 90 feet after a past ball.

With runners on third and second and two outs, D’vone McClure would single. Both runners would score making it 7-6.

Ninth-place hitter Ka’ai Tom would rope a double, which would score McClure and increase the Scrappers lead to 8-6.

The Muckdogs would tie the game back up in the sixth when Brewster and Seymour would hit back-to-back singles and move to third and second on yet another past ball.

Alfonzo then hit a high chopper to the shortstop Willi Castro. Brewster would score easily and Seymour would be right behind him. Alfonzo was caught in a rundown between first and second and was tag out but not before the score was tied 8-8.

In the seventh inning what could go wrong, went wrong for the Muckdogs.

Leurys De La Rosa, a right-handed relief pitcher, would have trouble finding the plate and did not get any help from his teammates in the field.

After all the smoke had settled, seven runs had scored. De La Rosa threw 35 pitches in the inning. He walked two, hit one, had a baulk and allowed four hits. There also were three errors made in the field, one by Seymour at shortstop and two by third baseman Munden. 

“It just goes back to keep working hard,” Manager Angel Espada would say about the error-filled play in the field.

“Come out early, take ground balls and just regroup and focus on what you are doing. It just comes down to that,” he said.

Down 15-8, the Muckdogs were able to get the game within reach when Garrett would hit his second homerun of the game and third on the season in the eighth inning.

Before the Garrett home run, Seymour and Alfonzo would each reach base with two-out singles. Garrett would then drive the Ryan Perez pitch over the centerfield wall making it 15-11.

“They are two big pieces of our team and two big pieces of our organization,” Espada said about Seymour and Garrett.

“The tools are there, they just got to keep playing the game,” he said.

The Muckdogs would threaten in the ninth when they would get the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate, but Seymour would ground out to shortstop and the come back would come up short, falling to the Scrappers by the score of 15-11. 

“When you are in this situation you have to have a short memory. You have to come ready to go tomorrow,” Espada said.

Seymour would finish the game 3-for-6 with three singles, four runs scored and a RBI. Garrett had a huge day at the plate where he collected five RBIs on three hits, two of which were homeruns.

Out of the ninth-place spot in the lineup, Brewster was able to go 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored for the Muckdogs.

Brock Hartson was the winning pitcher for the Scrappers while De La Rosa took the loss.

Nick Fuller pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth for Batavia. He struck out three while only allowing two hits. He has seven strikeouts on the season.

The Muckdogs will once again try for their first victory of the season on Tuesday against the Scrappers. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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June 21, 2015 - 2:39pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

After being shutout on opening night, the Muckdogs were back in action on Saturday night against the Auburn Doubledays.

In a game of ups and downs, the Muckdogs ultimately lost a tough one by the score of 9- 5 in 10 innings.

The scoring began in the bottom of the second inning when Muckdog catcher Blake Anderson singled with two outs. Giovanny Alfonzo would walk setting up first and second for Galvi Moscat.

Moscat would hit a hard ground ball back up the middle. Anderson scored from second but Alfonzo was thrown out trying to move to third, ending the inning.

The Doubledays would respond right away in the top of the third inning.

After getting through the first two innings unscathed, Batavia starting pitching, Nick White, would run into trouble in the third.

Auburn’s Conor Keniry would hit a lead off triple and would later score on an Ian Sagdal sacrifice fly making it 1-1. But the Doubledays were not done.

Leadoff hitter Byran Mejia and Matthew Page would both hit solo home runs making the score 3-1.

Unlike on opening night where the Muckdogs seemed to lose focus after they got down early, they responded right away in the bottom of the third.

Leftfielder Kyle Barrett would start off the inning with a walk and would move to second on a ground out to first by Anfernee Seymour. Barrett would then score on a RBI triple by Stone Garrett making it 3-2.

With the infield playing in, Eric Fisher was able to single and scoring Garrett from third and tying the game at 3-3.

Ryan Cranmer would hit a groundball to the pitcher, Jefrey Rodriguez and in an attempt to start a double play, he threw the ball in the dirt to the second baseball and the ball dribbled into the outfield. Fisher would move to third on the play setting up first and third with just one out for the Muckdogs.

The Muckdogs would take the lead back when Cranmer scored on a RBI single by Anderson making it 4-3. The Muckdogs were still threatening with runners on first and third but Alfonzo struck out to end the inning.

“We crawled back into the game and we battled,” Manager Angel Espada said.

The game remained at 4-3 until the seventh inning when Auburn DH, Kelvin Gutierrez would work a walk and move to third on a Luis Guzman double.

Both runners would score on a Keniry single making it 5-4.

Throughout the game, the Muckdog pitchers always had that one inning they could not get through without giving up some runs.

“It is just part of the beginning of the season. They are just trying to find their rhythm. It’s early and most of them haven’t pitched in awhile,” Espada said.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Muckdogs were still down 5-4 and down to their last out.

Garrett would hit a towering fly ball to leftfield that found itself landing on the other side of the fence tying the game at 5-5.

The celebration was short lived as Auburn was able to plate four runs in the top of the 10th inning, all with two outs to end Batavia’s quest for their first win of the season.

Garrett would finish the game 3-for-4 with a triple, homerun and two runs scored. Anderson was 3-for-5 with three singles and a RBI.

Cody Harris pitched three innings in relief. He only allowed two hits and walked one. Steve Farnworth got the loss as he pitched three innings, gave up four hits and all four runs in the 10th inning.

“You don’t want to lose series and you don’t want to get swept,” Espada said when talking about the importance of tomorrow’s game.

“It’s important to win tomorrow and not get swept just to give us a little bit of confidence,” he said.

The Muckdogs will try to avoid the sweep on Sunday, Father’s Day, when they face off against the Doubledays in the series finale. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m. 

June 20, 2015 - 7:00am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

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.

June 20, 2015 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in dwyer stadium, batavia, muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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Melanie Case submitted this photo of fireworks after the Muckdogs' opening night game at Dwyer Stadium. I don't think I've ever seen a better photo of fireworks at Dwyer.

June 19, 2015 - 3:20pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

At the start of every season the teams are fresh, the players are excited and the fans are restless for some baseball.

The 2015 Batavia Muckdogs season is here and there are many young players, here in Batavia, to get excited about. Highlighted below are three players the Muckdogs are counting on to produce for the upcoming season. 

Gabriel Castellanos, a lefty pitcher, will wear number 37 this year for the Muckdogs. He may seem familiar because he was on the Muckdogs roster last year.

Castellanos was a 2010 free agent signing of the Miami Marlins.

He is 6’1” and 165 pounds. The lefty pitcher started 13 games last year and had a 2-6 record. In total, he pitched 62 innings with 54 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .224. He finished the season with an above average 4.65 ERA.

Castellanos, just 21 years old, will be the Muckdogs' opening day starter as the coaching staff hopes that he continues to show improvement and matures on the mound.

The next player to keep an eye out for is shortstop Anfernee Seymour.

Seymour is just 19 years old and is regarded as the fastest player in the Marlins organization.

Drafted in 2014 in the seventh round (#197 overall) he signed a contract for $400,000. This was significant because that was two times the value of that pick.

Seymour played in the outfield his whole high school career, but after trying out for the Marlins, they told him they wanted him to play in the infield.

During the 2014 season he played for the Gulf Coast Marlins. During his stint there, he played in 26 games, had 98 at-bats with a .245 batting average. He had three RBIs, 12 walks and 27 strikeouts. He also had 11 stolen bases.

Although considered to be a project by the Marlins organization, at only 19 years old and with incredible speed, the Marlins have him listed as their 26th overall prospect.

The Muckdogs' most high profile player this year will be the guy behind the plate.

Blake Anderson will catch and wear #26. He was drafted in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft. (#36 overall) He signed for $1.17 million straight out of West Lauderdale High School but was committed to play at the University of Southern Mississippi. He decided to turn pro instead.  

During his senior year he lead his team to a 4a State Championship with a .438 BA, 8 HR, 14 doubles, 40 RBIs and an OPS of .523.   

According to scouts, he has a hose of an arm and considered to be more of a defensive catcher. Some scouts said that he reminds them a lot of the Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Weiters.

Back for his third season coaching the Muckdogs will be Angel Espada. Pitching coach and hitting coach Brendan Sagara and Rigoberto Silverio both return as well.

The Muckdogs kick off their season tonight at home against their Thruway rivals the Auburn Doubledays. Game time is set for 7:05.

Note there will be a short ceremony before the game to honor Haley, groundskeeper Don Rocks' longtime dog that passed away this past winter.

June 19, 2015 - 10:36am
posted by James Burns in Baseball Muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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The Batavia Muckdogs have their season opener tonight, at home in Dwyer Stadium against Auburn. A six-game home stand begins tonight at 7:05. There is an early afternoon game at 1:05 on Father’s Day; all other games are at 7:05 p.m. General admission is just $7 for adults.

For more information on tickets and the Muckdogs go to http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t511

Below, the Muckdags practice for the opener. 

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June 18, 2015 - 9:00am

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In its third year Genesee Kickball League has continued a tradition for adults to have some fun on the field after work. Playing at Batavia Sports Park last evening were six teams in the Spring league. 

“We have had as much as 10-12 teams in a session,” said league organizer Matt Smart. "We have two sessions, spring and summer, starting in May and depending on weather and daylight we may get in a fall league.

"Tonight’s teams were the Fireballz vs. Pitches BeCrazy, One Kick Wonders vs. Grass Kkickers, Purple Fother Mickers vs. Kermit Killers. We come up with some relevant names to the sport but it’s all for fun and then we go to our sponsors businesses afterward. 

"There are typically one to two sponsors per team and they are recognized on our team shirts. The summer league starts on July 1st."

For more information to register go to Facebook: Genesee Kickball

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June 17, 2015 - 2:35pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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Kurtis Dunlap, a 2012 graduate of Oakfield-Alabama High School and a journalism student at the University of Missouri's Reynolds School of Journalism, will cover the Batavia Muckdogs for The Batavian this season.

He'll cover home games and write occasional features about the team and its players.

Dunlap is studying sports journalism at Missouri.

He's the oldest of three siblings and in high school played football, basketball and baseball. For three seasons, he was a batboy for the Muckdogs. 

"Someday I hope to have my own column in a newspaper where I can share all the crazy things that pop into my head," Dunlap said.

The 2015 season opens Friday.

June 16, 2015 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, pembroke.

Press release:

On Thursday, the NCCAA announced the end of the year awards for Baseball with Caleb Lang taking three awards and Joey Nieves-Markee earning Honorable Mention. Lang was awarded with First-Team All-American, Player of the Year, as well as the Burbridge Award for Christian Leadership.

The awards come after Lang was named NCCAA East Region Player of the Year and Nieves-Markee made the All-East Region Team. Lang finished the 2015 campaign with a .444 batting average, 60 hits, 55 RBI, nine homeruns, 115 putouts, and only two errors from the outfield. Nieves-Markee ended his best year with a .427 batting average, 53 hits, 34 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases

Lang was also named a First Team All-American his previous two years with the Highlanders but this year was able to grab the Player of the Year award. Possibly even more impressive than that was his receiving of the Hank Burbridge Unlimited Potential Outstanding Christian Leadership Award

"To be thrown into the same conversation as Mr. Burbridge, who is highly regarded for not only baseball but for being a great man of God is amazing," said Lang after being notified of the award. "I am honored to receive this award and am very thankful that I am seen as someone who represents Christ in his actions on and off the field."

The purpose of the award is to honor the NCCAA's Outstanding Christian Baseball Player of the Year with potential Christian service through baseball. In order to be eligible for this award, a student-athlete must be at least a junior; possess and demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities; possess and demonstrates outstanding athletic ability; and possess and demonstrate a vibrant and clear Christian testimony on and off the field.

"This is one of the greatest awards that I have received thus far because it represents more than baseball; it represents the ability to change human lives," Lang continued. "I am grateful to all the people who have shown me the importance of service and I can only hope to impact for Christ the amount of people that Mr. Burbridge was able too."

You can find the release from the NCCAA here. Below is a full list of the honorees.
 
NCCAA 1st Team All-American
 
Pitcher-Kyle Vail, Southwestern Christian University
Pitcher-Andrew Bergmann, Judson University
Pitcher-Dustin Lawson, Lee University
Pitcher-Wilson Ashford, Fresno Pacific University
Catcher-Brandon Cummings, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Catcher-Zack Jones, Trinity Christian College
1st Base-David Espinoza, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
2nd Base-Luke Rojas, Judson University
Shortstop-Allen Staton, North Greenville College
3rd Base-Florentino Moreno, Arlington Baptist College
Extra Infielder-Ziar Koeiman, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Outfield-Caleb Lang, Cairn University
Outfield-Preston Scott, Fresno Pacific University
Outfield-Carlos Torres, Campbellsville University
Outfield-Tyler Osborn, University of Northwestern

June 15, 2015 - 4:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, Le Roy Country Club, golf, sports.

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It it rains, it floods at the Le Roy Country Club, at least when it rains like it has recently. 

A creek that cuts through the lush green fairways on the front 9 often overflows with an abundance of water, and according to course pro Robbie Sinclair, the "lake effect" is often teeming with wildlife after a big storm. I tried to make it out today while several herons were at the pond, but only came across this duck hen and her ducklings.

All 18 holes remain open for golf, though the normally par 4 second is reduced to a par 3, with a tee shot over a lovely water hazard.

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June 15, 2015 - 8:00am

The baseball season is just days away. Yup, the Batavia Muckdogs are returning to Dwyer Stadium for all the fun and community and professional baseball that we all enjoy.

Join The Batavian Club and receive a voucher for two free tickets to a regular season game.

Members of The Batavian Club receive more than $300 in gift certificates. These are gift certificates that be used in the same local businesses we all patronize every day.

The Batavian Club is a great value for all of its members. An annual membership is a mere $60. So think about it, use your first $60 in gift certificates and the rest of your membership package is like getting free money. Who doesn't like free stuff?

Sign up with an annual recurring payment instead of a one-time payment, and save another $10 off your membership fee. More free stuff!

You're helping to support The Batavian's mission to bring you the best local coverage and supporting local businesses at the same time. Everybody wins.

Here's what you get:

  • Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, $3
  • Alex's Place, $5
  • Alli's Cones & Dogs, $3
  • Batavia Country Club, $5
  • Batavia Muckdogs, Two free GA tickets
  • Beds-N-Bones Pet Lodge, $5
  • Blue Pearl Yoga, $10
  • Center Street Smoke House,$5
  • City Slickers, $4
  • Dan's Tire & Auto, $5
  • The Detail Shop, $2
  • En Garde, $5
  • Floral Fantasies, $3
  • Great Kutz, $3 on haircuts
  • Hardcor Audio, $20
  • Jagged Edges Salon, $5
  • The Mane Attraction, $5
  • Main St. Pizza Company, $3
  • Max Pies Furniture, $100 on $500 or more retail value
  • Millennium Computer, $20 on $100 or more purchase
  • R&D Outlet Center, $5
  • R.W. Vapors, $5
  • Santino's Pizza, $5
  • Settler's Restaurant, $5
  • Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew, $5
  • Sweet Pea's Cupckaery Cafe, $2
  • Valle Jewelers, $25 on $100 or more retail value
  • Vinyl Sticks
  • West Main Wine and Spirits, $3

There are three ways to join: Use Paypal (buttons below) call us with your credit card information, or mail us a check.

Call us at (585) 250-4118 during regular business hours.

Download this form and mail it to us with a check.

Single member non-recurring payment: $60
Single membership annual recurring automatic payment of $50
June 10, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Special Olympics, sports, batavia, schools, education.

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A group of runners, including several members of the local law enforcement community, carried the Special Olympic Torch from Elba to the Genesee ARC building on Walnut Street, Batavia, this morning. Along the way, they stopped at the Batavia School District's fourth-grade track meet on Woodward Field.

Above, Garrett Schmidt and Avelin Tomidy get ready to assist Deputy Joseph Corona in carrying the torch for a lap around the track.

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Carl talks about what Special Olympics means to him and how he won three medals at a recent competition.

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Dave Chua

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The runners approaching Van Detta Stadium.

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Completing the lap around the track.

June 10, 2015 - 8:45am
posted by Steve Ognibene in Batavia HS, track & field, sports, batavia.

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Batavia High School track state qualifiers will participate this Friday and Saturday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association track meet at Albany State College.  The state meet consists of two classifications, with large schools in Class A, AA, and small schools, including Batavia, in classes B, CC, C and D schools. 

I interviewed Coach Dan Geiger, head coach of the girls team, and spoke about this weekend’s itinerary.

“The kids will board for Albany after school Thursday representing section five and arrive for a practice late that evening," Geiger said. "The kids will compete on Friday and then return again on Saturday, and if they qualify they will do what’s called a federation championship in which they combine large, small schools and the public athletic association from NYC area. Every school in New York State will have a chance with that one, but only the top eight schools in the state will compete in those races on Saturday. Depending on how Friday goes we are looking to have all the kids participate Saturday and the goal is to arrive back at BHS Saturday night will lots of medals.

"Just about every year we have sent a couple of each from boys and girls to the state meet. This year we have a much larger group than in the past and it’s always great to get relays in and it’s a lot of fun for the kids. A lot of individuals over the years make it in for various races. This is the first time in history that we will have both boys and girls relay racers go, which is an outstanding accomplishment as a program. Our program has been very strong the last eight years consistently that we have sent a few kids to participate.

"We have had some really strong individuals on our relay teams and had a very difficult choice as to who to pick for our relays and have eight strong 400-meter runners. We can only bring six to the meet, four to participate and two listed as alternates. Two girls I want to recognize -- Reagan Henrici and Aimee Freeman -- who were right there with these girls but unfortunately we could only bring six and not all eight to the meet. We got have some really great depth that have showed it in sectional time on both girls and boys side that will compete with them and hopefully make it on the podium.“

Pictured above from left, first row: freshman Sophie Dinehart (4x4), senior Missa Dispenza (4x4), 100m & 400m hurdles, freshman Kiaya Franklin (4x4), eighth-grader Bri Wormley (4x4), freshman Claire Zickl (4x4), not pictured -- senior Becca Canale (4x4).

Second row, from left: junior Cal Jantzi (4x8), junior Louie Leone (4x8), sophomore Campbell Andersen (4x8), senior Devon Keopp (disc thrower), junior Nick Callisher (4x8), senior Jerrett Laskett (4x8) & 400m hurdles. 

For more information go to: nysphsaa.org

June 8, 2015 - 4:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, batavia, ice skating.

On Saturday, June 13, from 1 to 5 pm, Cornerstone CFCU Arena’s Lockport Skating School will host its first Basic Skills competition, involving competitors from its Figure Skating and Learn to Skate programs, as well as skaters from Western New York, Central New York, and Ontario, Canada. Thirty-one of the 72 competitors train at the Cornerstone CFCU Arena. Spectators are welcome and admission is free.

Among the contestants will be Michelle Dyer and Macy Midla, of Batavia.

The competition will include 37 events beginning with Basic Skills and Hockey Basic Skills, where skaters skate a pre-assigned set of skills based on their most recently completed level, including Snow Plow Sam through level 8. Fourteen compulsory moves events will follow. Competitors in compulsory events also skate a pre-assigned set of moves, though these groups are for more advanced skaters who have moved out of the Learn to Skate program. Finally, eight freestyle events will close the competition. A free program is what fans of figure skating are most used to seeing on television. The programs are set to music and skaters have the entire ice to skate their program. The compulsory and freestyle events include five adult events with 7 adult competitors overall. The youngest Basic Skills competitor is 4 years old.

Saturday’s competition is just the beginning for the expanding Figure Skating and Learn to Skate programs at Cornerstone CFCU Arena.

“We are planning to host multiple events to draw skaters from across the region to Lockport. This event is the first of many,” says Dawn Ahlers, Figure Skating director at Cornerstone CFCU Arena. “I am proud to share the state-of-the-art Cornerstone CFCU Arena with the skating community. We have so much to offer here, including the Skate Ahead training facility which offers off-ice training for both figure skaters and hockey players.”

This summer, Cornerstone CFCU Arena is hosting two week-long kids fun camps (July 20-24 & August 10-14) and 2 week-long figure skating camps (July 13-17 & August 3-7) as well as two Learn to Skate sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings through July and August. More information about these and other programs may be found at www.cornerstoneicearena.com.

Lockport contributors to the event include Tops Markets, McDonald’s, WalMart, Lake Effect Ice Cream, and the Milleville family, as well as many volunteers from the local skating community.

The Cornerstone CFCU Arena features two NHL regulation-size rinks, a pro shop, a performance training center, Skate Ahead, and seating for 630 spectators. The 93,500-square-foot facility at 34 Chestnut St. in Lockport opened its Figure Skating and Learn to Skate programs in October 2014.

June 8, 2015 - 11:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, horse racing.

Press release:

Representatives from Western Regional Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) announced today that wagering at WROTB on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes totaled $1,168,559.  American Pharoah captured the first Triple Crown in 37 years. This was down just 6.2 percent from last year’s handle of $1,246,239 while nationwide; handle was down 10.5 percent versus last year. The 2014 race featured three more horses, which increased wagering. Batavia Bets.com, WROTB’s online wagering platform, had handle of over $110,000 for the day, up 28 percent from last year.

“It was great to see a Triple Crown winner. Those watching at Batavia Downs and our Branches were witness to a great horse fulfilling his destiny," said Batavia Downs and WROTB Marketing Director Ryan Hasenauer. "I have no doubt that if this race had more horses, we would have beaten last year’s numbers.”

“Kudos to the connections of American Pharoah, they did a great job with the colt,” said GM of Live Racing and OTB Handicapper Todd Haight. “Hopefully we’ll get to see him race a few more times this year before he heads to the breeding shed to begin his next career. In any event, we can all look forward to seeing his offspring run.”   

TV viewing ratings topped a 12.3 rating with a 27 share. It was the first time in back to back years that the Belmont had higher than a 12 rating.​

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