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August 10, 2018 - 11:31am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

For the 31st time in 51 games, the Muckdogs had played in a game that was decided by two runs or less. The Doubledays put up three runs in the sixth inning that would end up being the difference in the 4-3 loss for Batavia.

Alberto Guerrero was solid for the Muckdogs on the mound, giving up just three hits in five innings, however, one of them was a home run to Jamori Blash in the second inning to give the Doubledays the 1-0 lead, and that is the way the game would stand until the sixth inning.

Jackson Stoeckinger for Auburn put a quality start in the books going six innings, giving up six hits and two runs in his start. Both runs that he gave up would come at the very start of Batavia’s rally.

The hole would be 4-0 by that point, as Tanner Andrews gave up three runs in his first inning of relief. The heart of the Doubleday order featured three All-Stars: Israel Pineda, Jacob Rhinesmith, and Pablo O’Connor. They tagged Batavia for three runs, including three extra-base hits to make it 4-0 going to the Muckdog half of the sixth inning.

The inning started off with a pair of singles from the top of the order in Corey Bird and Brayan Hernandez. A wild pitch advanced them to second and third, allowing Sean Reynolds to hit a sac fly to right field that brought in Bird, then two singles later Denis Karas drove in Hernandez to make it 4-2. One of those singles came from Jerar Encarnacion to extend his hit streak to 10 games. Michael Donadio hit a line drive that was caught by the second baseman Carson Shaddy, and Encarnacion was doubled off at second base to end the inning.

Evan Estes took care of the final six outs for Batavia, not allowing any runs, and keeping Batavia within striking distance of victory.

In the bottom of the ninth, the ‘Dogs got the start they were looking for. A leadoff double for Denis Karas got things going. Donadio kept the rally alive with a single, and a sac fly from Demetrius Sims brought Karas in to make it a one-run game. Igor Baez dropped a single in at the right field line to push Donadio to third with just one out. A ball hit to the outfield is all Batavia needed to tie the game. However, Luke Jarvis flew out to shallow center, not deep enough to bring in the run. Corey Bird then struck out to end the game and drop the game to the Doubledays 4-3. Batavia is now 1-6 on the season against Auburn.

The final game of the series is Friday; first pitch is a 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.

August 6, 2018 - 11:35am
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

The Muckdogs had the power of a three-run first inning to hold on for a 6-5 win over the West Virginia Black Bears. Batavia has won six of their last nine games, and have opened up the month of August with a 4-1 record. Jerar Encarnacion and Albert Guaimaro hit home runs in the game for Batavia.

The first runs of the game came in the first inning. Corey Bird, who is with the Muckdogs on Minor League Rehab, started off the ballgame with a walk. He got caught going the wrong way on a pickoff attempt but was bailed out by the pickoff throw being airmailed over Luke Mangieri’s head at first base. Bird went first to third on the play. Brayan Hernandez then ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Bird. After a Sean Reynolds strikeout, Jerar Encarnacion clubbed a home run into the Black Bears' bullpen for his third of the year to give the ‘Dogs a three-run lead going into the bottom of the first.          

The lead continued to grow in the second. Igor Baez led off the inning with a walk. The leadoff batter reached base three times in the first four innings. Baez was able to move around the diamond on a ground ball that snuck into right field to push Baez to third base. He then scored on a wild pitch.

Albert Guaimaro led off the fourth inning with a blast over the left-center wall. His line drive homer was his first of the season and continued a powerful Muckdogs offense that has put up 6.2 runs per game in the last five games, after scoring just 3.9 per game in July.

Guaimaro’s home run pushed the Batavia lead to five after four innings. The Black Bear half of the inning started their rally. One run came in to score from an error from Gerardo Nunez, who had two in the game. A second run came in from a Paul Brands' single and cut Batavia’s lead to 5-2 after the fourth.

Bryce Howe went out for his fifth inning and set a new career high with four and a third innings in the start. He also struck out a season-high five batters as well.

West Virginia scored again in the sixth on an error from a Baez throw that skipped into center field on an attempt to throw out a runner. Edison Lantigua scored on the play, making it 5-3 Batavia. The Black Bears notched one more in the bottom of the seventh from a Brett Kinneman double. Batavia’s once 5-0 lead diminished to just one run.

The Muckdogs pushed an insurance run across the plate in the top of the ninth inning. When Luke Jarvis led the inning off with a walk. Nunez bunted him over, setting up Bird who then smacked an RBI double in the right-center gap to score Jarvis.

The insurance run proved to be very important in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jameson McGrane looked to finish off the six-out save. He would give up a one-out double to Mike Gretler, and was scored by Kinneman to make the difference just one run again, and bring the winning run to the plate. McGrane shut it down from there on out though, and sealed the deal to get the Muckdogs to the 6-5 victory.

Batavia has two more games against the Black Bears, who own the league’s worst record. First pitch Monday and Tuesday are 7:05 p.m. from Monongalia County Ballpark. Humberto Mejia and Tyler Kolek are scheduled to throw for Batavia in Monday’s game.

August 4, 2018 - 9:58am
posted by Steve Ognibene in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

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The Muckdogs beat first-place Mahoning Valley at home Friday night 8-2 for the team's fourth consecutive win.

Alberto Guerrero pitched five solid innings but gave up two runs and the team was down 2-0 when he left the game.

Batavia rallied for six runs in the sixth and Tanner Andrews, who replaced Guerrero and tossed two scoreless innings, picked up the win.

Michael Donadio had three hits, two RBIs, and scored twice. Albert Guaimaro had two hits. Brayan Hernandez hit his second homer of the season in the seventh inning.

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August 2, 2018 - 10:37am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

The Muckdogs picked up their third win in five days on Wednesday afternoon in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park by topping the State College Spikes 5-4. The game in University City, Pa., didn’t pick up at its expected time of noon due to rains that pushed first pitch all the way back to 2:20 p.m.

Once the game finally got underway, Batavia did not waste any time getting on the board. Sean Reynolds went deep to left field and got the Muckdogs their first lead of the game, making it 1-0 going to the bottom of the first.

The lead doubled with an RBI double from Luke Jarvis, his first extra-base hit as a pro. His shot off the right-field wall scored Igor Baez and put Batavia up by a pair.

State College halved the lead in the bottom of the second as a result of a Brady Whalen home run. Whalen, a switch-hitter batting from the left side, hit the fifth home run Humberto Mejia has given up this season. All five of those home runs had been from left-handed batters.

A pair of errors from the Spikes in the top of the fifth opened another scoring window in the top of the fifth. Lars Nootbaar dropped a Brayan Hernandez fly ball in left field that he lost in the sun, and then Stanley Espinal airmailed a throw from the hole on the left side to put Demetius Sims on. Hernandez came in to score on a ball that squeaked away from the catcher Alexis Wilson. Immediately after, Sean Reynolds smacked an RBI double to score Sims and cash in on both of the Spikes’ errors.

Tyler Kolek came on in relief of Mejia, Kolek ended up as the winning pitcher in the ballgame in his three innings of relief. He retired his first six batters and gave up just one run in the seventh. When he came out of the game, Batavia still held a 4-2 lead.

Once again, Batavia answered with a run of their own, JD Osborne slugged a double to the left-center gap to score Jerar Encarnacion. Encarnacion was the third run to score that reached on an error.

CJ Carter and Elkin Alcala closed out the game for the final six outs. Nick Dunn drove in his second and third runs in the game with a two-run shot into the right-field bleachers. In a 5-4 game, Alcala got the final out after giving up the homer to give the Muckdogs the win.

The Muckdogs return home for a three-game series with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Dwyer Stadium. The first pitch for all three games is 7:05 p.m.

July 31, 2018 - 2:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball, news, notify.

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Many young men have passed through Batavia over the years with dreams of making it to the major leagues -- Cito Gaston, Doc Ellis, Manny Sanguillen, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard -- all had solid careers.

But none of these players -- nor those who never made it -- were quite like Cooper Thomas.

Thomas doesn't slug homers or swat singles. He's never had his fastball clocked at 90 mph, let alone 98. He might be able to field a grounder or track down a fly ball but that isn't really what he wants to do.

His dream is to keep the grass green, the foul lines straight and infield dirt as smooth as the felt on a pool table.

Thomas arrived in Batavia on Thursday night after a 30-hour flight from Australia, chasing his big league dream: To be the guy taking care of a major league field.

That only happens in North America and it means making a name for yourself, so when Dave Chase, first-year general manager of the Batavia Muckdogs, told him there was a need for a head groundskeeper 9,401 miles from his home, Thomas didn't hesitate. He was ready to go.

That was the easy part. Getting Thomas through the visa process took some time, which is why he's only arriving in Batavia this week.

Now his goal, to turn the field at Dwyer Stadium into the best field in the New York Penn League. He'll have help from Joe Mogavero, who has been taking care of the field during the first half of the season.

"Aesthetically, you want it to be as good as you can for the fans but more for the players and the teams," Thomas said. "It’s more playability and keeping the field consistent so they know exactly how the field is going to play day in and day out."

One of the issues with the field that Chase mentioned during the off-season was the high lip of grass around the infield, the batter's area, and the pitcher's mound.

When Thomas started work Friday morning, the first task at hand -- fix the lips.

"I’m a massive stickler on that sort of thing," Thomas said. "We're still doing work on it. It’s really an everyday thing to get it perfect so we’ll be working on it every single day, especially on game days. Bringing a major league feel into a minor league ballpark is what I’d like to do here."

Thomas became the Muckdogs' top prospect for all things turf and dirt related after Chase called Murray Cook, who is the guy to know the world over if you care about the quality of your ball field.

Chase was in a bind. He was only a few weeks into his new job as GM for the Muckdogs, after the NYPL took over ownership of the team, and he realized he needed to hire a new head groundskeeper. By that time, any groundskeepers with any experience were already committed to other ballparks.

Cook said he knew this 20-year-old kid in Australia who was ready to move up.

“Murray’s word is gold in the groundskeeping business, so when he endorsed him it was a no-brainer," Chase said.

In 2014, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played the first MLB regular season games ever in Australia and though Thomas didn't work on the field, he was obsessed with the work of Murray Cook and his crew.

"They made a cricket oval into a baseball field, which just blew my mind," Thomas said. "I followed it intensely and when I saw how a big league field is supposed to look on our soil that was like a trigger point. I knew I needed to work hard and get a reputation myself so I can be over here (in the states)."

Cook learned of Thomas through the Australian Baseball League, which is sponsored by Major League Baseball, and since some U.S. prospects play in the ABL, the fields there have to be kept to MLB standards. That's where Cook comes in. It's his job to inspect the fields and often his staff works with Australian groundskeepers.

Thomas started his groundskeeping career when the ABL came to Brisbane a year before that 2014 game when he was 15 years old.

"They played at a showground so we had to bump the field in, bump the field out because they had concerts or whatever there," Thomas said. "Me and this other guy just got really good at putting in a brand-new field and taking it away. So I got like OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) about it and eventually got a head job at the new stadium in Brisbane. I just loved it."

That's a level of training that isn't available in places where baseball is more established.

"It was pretty intense," Thomas said. "I got to know a baseball field like the back of my hand. I was pretty obsessed with how a baseball field is set up and how it’s made."

He wanted his fields to be major league quality.

"Where money and equipment lack, you’ve got to work hard so I just got a real obsession for trying to make it look like fields over here. I just tried to make my field look as good as it could in Australia and I compared it to all the U.S. fields. I thought if I could do that, that would be like a massive tick on my bucket list."

He came to the attention of Cook when he was working with Cook's team on the fields for the World Baseball Classic qualifiers.

Cook's staff recognized the kid's passion, hard work, and knowledge of the craft and asked if he would like to work in the United States at some point and Thomas said that was indeed his goal. They said they would be in touch.

Since the initial job offer during the off-season, Thomas has been following all the news about the Muckdogs and the team's home field. He has been making plans all that time -- about how to get the outfield grass striped like a major league field, adding a team logo behind home plate, improving the playability of the field.  

As he's said, he can be obsessive about these things.

"I know the field has not really been outstanding the past couple of years but I would really like to turn it around and make it one of the best fields in the league," Thomas said. "That is my main objective. As soon as I knew I was coming over here I was saying, like in my head, 'Batavia is going to be the number one field in the league.' That’s my main goal."

If he does that well, he might someday wind up running the show at Marlins Park, or perhaps Dodger Stadium. We mention L.A. because that's where Thomas has come the closest so far to actually walking on major league grass.

"I did do the stadium tour once in Dodger Stadium," Thomas said. "We went all through the stadium and when we got to the bit where we finally go on the field they were like, ‘sorry, we’re not going on the field. They’re shooting Moneyball,’ and I’m like, ‘that’s what I came here for! I just want to get on the field.’ "

July 31, 2018 - 12:28pm
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

The Muckdogs were able to only get five runners on base on Monday night in a 3-0 loss to the State College Spikes. It was the second time this season that Batavia has been shut out. The Muckdogs only put multiple hits together in an inning one time, the other three hits were spread out in the first, third, and ninth innings.

Peyton Culbertson started the game for the Muckdogs. He pitched three innings into the game, just giving up four hits on one run. His fastball ran in the low to mid-90s, and showed a sharp curveball to keep hitters off-balance.

Chris Holba had an excellent start for the Spikes. The Cardinals' 11th round pick from East Carolina went six strong innings, only surrendering four hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out six batters.

Hector Villalobos was just as good, if not better out of the bullpen for the Spikes. He went three innings of relief; his only blemish was a Brayan Hernandez double in the ninth. Villalobos also struck out five.

The three runs for State College were scored across the third, fourth and fifth innings. The first of the three came in to score on a double play in the third. Nick Dunn crossed the plate in the bases-loaded situation at the cost of two outs.

Dunn then drove in a run of his own in the fourth, scoring Justin Toerner to double the Spikes’ lead. Toerner continued the chain in the fifth inning by bringing in Stanley Espinal, and I became a 3-0 game after the sacrifice fly.

The Muckdogs have now lost eight of their last 10 games, and have scored just nine runs in the last four games. Six of those runs came in the 6-5 victory over Vermont.           

The middle game of the series starts at 7:05 p.m. on Tuesday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Bryce Howe is slated to pitch for Batavia to attempt at splitting the first two games of the series.

July 28, 2018 - 11:41am
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

The Muckdogs' woes continue as they dropped the sixth of their last seven games by losing 5-2 to Vermont in the first game of a three-game series against the Lake Monsters. Batavia’s bullpen surrendered a run in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. The Marlins 2014 second overall selection also made his Muckdogs’ debut from the bullpen in Friday’s game.

Vermont got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when two runs came across the plate. The first was on a solo home run from Marcos Brito sent a shot over the right field wall to get the Lake Monsters on the board.

Batavia answered back in the top of the fourth inning. Jerar Encarnacion ripped his second double of the day, and he would come around to score on a Michael Donadio home run to left field, his fourth of the year. That home run knotted the game at 2-2, but would be the only runs Batavia scored in the contest.

The fifth, sixth and seventh innings saw runs cross the plate for the Lake Monsters. The Muckdogs fell victim to two unearned runs in those innings. The deciding run came against the Marlins’ second overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft, Tyler Kolek. He would get charged with the loss in the game despite the unearned run that scored on a wild pitch.

Batavia was hobbled by three errors in the game, and helped Vermont’s winning run to cross the plate. Batavia’s bullpen surrendered costly runs again late in the ballgame that put their chances of winning out of reach.

Game two of the series is on Saturday, a 6:05 p.m. first pitch at Centennial Field in Burlington.

July 27, 2018 - 3:15am
posted by Steve Ognibene in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

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The Muckdogs were just an out away from a second consecutive 5-4 win over the Staten Island Yankees on Thursday afternoon and they let the game slip away.

Batavia lost 6-5.

Evan Estes gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to record the loss and drop his record to 0-2. It was his first blown save of the season.

The Muckdogs supplied hometown fans with plenty of offense, collecting a total of 10 hits. Brayan Hernandez, Demetrius Sims, Sean Reynolds, Denis Karas all had two hits. For times, one of those hits was a round-tripper and Hernandez scored three runs. Both Sims and Reynolds had two RBIs.

The Muckdogs now go on the road for six games, returning home Aug. 2 to take on Mahoning Valley.

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July 26, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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The Batavia Muckdogs snapped a four-game skid Wednesday night against the Staten Island Yankees with a 5-4 win.

Michael Donadio had three hits for the home team, scored a run and drove in a run. Denis Karas had two hits and scored to runs. The winning pitcher was the second one into the game, Peyton Culbertson, who entered the game with a 3-2 lead and scattered five hits over three innings without giving up a run. He's now 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA. C.J. Carter, who alternates a 3/4 release with a sidearm delivery, picked up his first save, pitching an inning and a third, striking out three without allowing a base runner.

Top photo: Umpire Matt Whipple jumps to avoid an errant throw by catcher Pablo Garcia, who scrambled to recover a wild pitch by Elkin Alcala, seen jumping to avoid a sliding score by Yankees Jesus Bastidas in the top of the eighth inning. Next to photos, Sean Reynolds with a stolen base in the bottom of the eighth inning.

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Elkin Alcala.

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Pablo Garcia attempts a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the seventh. The ball rolled foul, well down the third-base line. He would later single to left in the at-bat.

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C.J. Carter with his sidearm delivery.

July 25, 2018 - 1:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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The Muckdogs could manage only three hits and one run Tuesday night to open a three-game series against the Staten Island Yankees.

The home team lost 7-1 with Alberto Guerrero (2-2, 2.72 era), who gave up four runs, two earned, in the first four frames, taking the loss.

Batavia will try again against the Yankees farm team at 7:05 tonight and they'll wrap up the series tomorrow at 11:05 a.m.

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July 24, 2018 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, Team New Era, tryouts.

Team New Era will hold 2019 summer team tryouts for ages 10 thru 17 starting July 30th thru Aug. 4th.

Age as of 4/30/2019

Ages 9 thru 12: Monday July 30th at 5 p.m. at Garnet Park in Amherst (66 Garnet Road)

Ages 13 thru 15: Tuesday July 31st at 5 p.m. at Losson Park #6 in Cheektowaga (500 Losson Road)

16U and 17U Showcase: Wednesday Aug. 1st at 5 p.m. at Losson Park #6 in Cheektowaga (500 Losson Road)

For those unable to attend: Ages 12 and under -- Saturday Aug. 4th at 10 a.m. at our Depew facility (3950 Broadway); and ages 13 thru 17 - Saturday Aug. 4th at 1 p.m. at our Depew facility (3950 Broadway).

In the event of rain for outdoor tryouts, tryouts will be moved to our indoor facility at 3950 Broadway (10 minutes away)

For more information or to register see www.teamnewerabaseball.com or contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

July 22, 2018 - 12:51pm
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, sports, baseball.

Five runs that crossed the plate in the last two innings for Mahoning Valley would prove to be too much for the Muckdogs to overcome in a 7-3 loss to the division-leading Scrappers.

Mahoning Valley got an early jump on Humberto Mejia on Saturday. They picked up two runs in the first inning. Two of the first three batters came around to score. Tyler Freeman continued his tear of NYPL pitching with a triple after one out. He was scored by a Mitch Reeves' double, one of Reeves four hits in the game. Hosea Nelson, who had a home run in game one of the series drove in the second run to give the Scrappers a 2-0 cushion before Batavia even got to bat.

Batavia answered with their first runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Albert Guaimaro hit a triple with one out, his first of two in the game. Then a two-out single from Denis Karas scored him to cut the Scrappers’ lead in half after the second.

Both pitchers locked in a pitchers’ duel until the tie was broken in the eighth inning with bullpen pitchers on the mound. Batavia and Mahoning Valley scored two runs each in their half of the inning to bat. The Scrappers rally started with two outs in the top half of the frame. Reeves notched his fourth hit of the game and Nelson got on by reaching on a throwing error. Angel Lopez hit the clutch two-run single to make it a 4-1 game after the top of the inning.

The bottom of the eighth saw the Muckdogs answer with their two runs from an RBI single from Sean Reynolds. His base knock brought in one run, and the second came on a throwing error to the plate that cut the deficit to just one run.

The 4-3 lead in the ninth for the visitors swelled by three more runs, all coming with two outs. Jose Fermin singled home Michael Tinsley, and after a botched foul pop-up on a miscommunication, two more scored on a Freeman single and a wild pitch.

Batavia then went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, giving Mahoning Valley the game and the series W. The final game of the series before the league off day is today at 1:05.

July 18, 2018 - 1:10pm
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

Batavia was six outs away from a no-hitter at BB&T Ballpark in Williamsport, Pa., on Tuesday night. However, you would never have guessed that by looking at the box score. The game against the Crosscutters went to extra innings and ended up being a 7-5 victory for the Muckdogs in the 10th.

Chris Vallimont was the starter for Batavia, he went three innings in his third pro start. He issued three walks but did not allow any hits for the first time in his career. Manuel Rodriguez was the piggyback reliever for Batavia, as he had been since Vallimont’s arrival. Rodriguez had a career day as well; he went four innings of perfect baseball. He did not allow any hits or walks and struck out five batters in that time.

Batavia’s offense got it going early in the ballgame. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth on a two-run double from JD Osborne to give the Muckdogs the lead. The Muckdogs would tack on one more run in the seventh inning when Albert Guaimaro hit a triple to the right-field wall, he would score on a passed ball.

Batavia went to the bullpen in the eighth inning and that is when the Crosscutters would get their first hit. Zach Wolf was on the mound for the Muckdogs, he hit the first batter he faced with a pitch. Jesse Wilkening left the game in place for Rafael Merchan. He would come around the score on the first hit of the game for Williamsport with an RBI double from Seth Lancaster in the next at-bat. After breaking up the no-hitter, Lancaster himself would come in to score from an RBI single from Madison Stokes later in the inning to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

The game was taking another turn in the ninth inning with Elkin Alcala on the mound. Danny Mayer led off the ending with a walk, he would eventually come around to score after the Crosscutters loaded the bases and a single from Jonathan Guseman brought him in to tie the game at 3-3.

After losing the no-hit bid, Batavia had to focus on winning the game. The Muckdogs unloaded for four runs in the top of the 10th. Osborne started the inning on second base, he was bunted over on a bunt single from Guaimaro. Guaimaro advanced to second on a wild pitch, forcing the infield in against Bubba Hollins. He lined a ball to right field for a two-run single. Denis Karas, the next batter, sent a ball inside the right-field foul pole for a two-run homer to give the Muckdogs a 7-3 in the 10th.

Williamsport would not go down as easy, a leadoff double from Madison Stokes scored the starting runner at second, Ben Aklinski. Stokes himself would eventually score on a single from Danny Mayer to cut Batavia’s lead to 7-5. Alcala would be able to finish the game from there to give Batavia the win. Batavia snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory, and will go for the series win on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field.

July 18, 2018 - 11:52am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, baseball, Batavia Little League.

The Batavia Little League 11-12 all-star team defeated Fredonia on Tuesday night to advance to the Section 1 finals against undefeated Webster. Batavia will host the game, starting at 5:30 this afternoon, at Ernie Park Stadium on State Street.

Manager Sam Antinore's club has bounced back after losing to Webster last weekend by topping Central Amherst on Monday and Fredonia last night.

The Batavians have to win two games against Webster to claim the sectional crown. If Batavia wins tonight, the championship game would take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the same location.

Members of the Batavia club are Jay Antinore, Dane Dombrowski, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jaden Firmstone, Bronx Buchholz, Ryan Fazio, Cole Grazioplene, Orion Lama, Brady Mazur, Trent Woods, Jamison Motyka, Jimmy Fanara and Cooper Hamilton.

July 16, 2018 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

Press release:

Orchard Park native Bubba Hollins was assigned to the Batavia Muckdogs on Monday, July 16th. Hollins played his high school baseball at Orchard Park.

Hollins was originally drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in the 35th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He then went to St. Petersburg Community College before signing to go to St. Bonaventure University in Olean.

Hollins, a third baseman, will be entering his second stint with the Muckdogs on Monday.

Last year, Hollins hit .214 in 12 games for Batavia. He started the 2018 season with the Miami Marlins Class A-Advanced affiliate, the Jupiter Hammerheads. For the Hammerheads, Hollins hit .167 with a double and a home run in the 21 games he played in the Florida State League. 

His father, Dave Hollins, was a 12-year MLB veteran who played with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Boston Red Sox, the Minnesota Twins, the Seattle Mariners, the Los Angeles Angels, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. Dave Hollins was also the hitting coach for Muckdogs’ manager Mike Jacobs in 2005 with the Binghamton Mets.

July 16, 2018 - 11:10am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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The Muckdogs dropped the fifth of their last seven games on Sunday afternoon to the Lowell Spinners. It was a back-and-forth affair until the seventh inning. The Muckdogs and Spinners traded runs through the first six innings.

Lowell got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when Tyler Esplin would reach base on a ball that skipped on Gunnar Schubert. Two singles later, he would come around to score thanks to Grant Williams RBI base knock.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jerar Encarnacion got his first hit since returning to the lineup. His triple to the right-center wall set the Muckdogs to score with a runner on third with one out. Two batters later, Denis Karas doubled him home to tie the game up at one. Karas has brought in three batters in the last two games.

Batavia went to the bullpen in the fifth and would yield one run in that inning. Kroby Batesole was hit by a pitch from Martin Anderson to start the inning. A double from Williams followed it up to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. A sacrifice fly from Dylan Hardy put the Spinners back in the lead 2-1.

Michael Donadio led Batavia off in the sixth, and he would tie the game by hitting an opposite-field home run to left to knot the game again 2-2 in the sixth. Donadio tallied his second homer of the year, and both of them have been sent to the opposite field.

Batavia and Lowell were still tied going into the seventh inning, but that would change soon after. The first three batters of the inning would come around to score, and four in total would. Two of the runs came to score on a double from Kole Cottam, and another on a bases-loaded walk. Batavia would face bases-loaded situations multiple times. At the end of the inning, Lowell led 6-2, and that would be the final.

The Muckdogs have now dropped five of their last seven games, and have one more game against Lowell before going back on the road to play the Williamsport Crosscutters in Central Pennsylvania.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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July 13, 2018 - 11:56am
posted by Andy Helwig in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

In another close game, Batavia came out on top on Thursday night by a 4-3 margin. The Connecticut Tigers were dressed as the Norwich Navigators as part of a Throwback Thursday promotion to honor the former New York Yankees Eastern League affiliate of the early 2000’s. There was a short back-and-forth in the first four innings, but afterward, the game would be deadlocked until the ninth.

Chris Vallimont made his second professional start in the game. His low pitch count limited him to throwing just two innings. Two runs scored in the bottom of the first from an RBI single from Nick Ames, and a sac fly two batters later from Darwin Alvarado to make it 2-0 after one.

Batavia would come back in a big way in the top of the fourth when Denis Karas came up with two on and two outs, he then unloaded on one to straightaway center field that cleared the 401’ wall in center to put the Muckdogs in front 3-2 going to the bottom of the fourth.

A pair of errors for Batavia in the bottom part of the frame would put Eric De La Rosa on third base with no outs. The first was a throwing error on a tough play by Demetrius Sims that put De La Rosa on second, then a low throw on a pickoff attempt by Manuel Rodriguez sent him to third. Alvarado was the next batter up. His single allowed De La Rosa to walk to home plate to score to knot the game at three.

The bullpens locked the game down after the fourth. John O’Loughlin struck out seven batters in his three and two-thirds innings of work to keep Batavia scoreless. Both games in the series have now seen Batavia strike out at least 13 times in each game. A combination of CJ Carter and Elkin Alcala were able to shut out the Navigators in the last three innings to seal the win.      

Game three and the rubber match of the series takes place on Friday night from Dodd Stadium, it will be a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Batavia then returns home to take on the Lowell Spinners (Boston) for a three-game set.

July 12, 2018 - 11:49am
posted by Andy Helwig in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Batavia’s bats were kept to season-low numbers on Wednesday night. It was evident from early in the ballgame that hits would be few and far between for the Muckdogs. Chance Kirby was making his New York-Penn League debut with the Connecticut Tigers. Kirby, a strikeout artist in high school and in the GCL, had a career day for the Detroit affiliate.

Through the first five innings of the game, Kirby struck out a total of 12 batters. Only three outs were recorded by something other than a strikeout. He was nearly unhittable. Batavia was able to sneak one hit in, a Luke Jarvis single to center field in the third inning. Kirby struck out the side in the fourth and fifth to make for his highest streak of six Ks in a row. The 12 strikeouts that he recorded are the most that any opposing pitcher has recorded in a start this season against the Muckdogs.

The Tigers opened up the scoring in the second inning with a solo shot from Nick Ames that cleared the deep right field wall. Humberto Mejia worked himself into a bases-loaded jam after that but was able to escape it to keep the deficit to just one.

The third inning would yield more runs for the Tigers. After Mejia retired the first two batters of the frame, Ames ripped a two-out double for his second extra-base hit of the game. Then a walk to Eric De La Rosa set up Darwin Alvarado for a two-run double to make the score 3-0 after three. From then on, the Muckdogs’ bullpen would only give up one more hit in the game.

The offense, however, did not get their start until the seventh once Kirby had left the game. The Muckdogs only got one runner to first base (the Jarvis single). Michael Donadio started things off in the seventh for Batavia with a leadoff walk. After two quick outs, JD Osborne came back to the dish for his first game since June 28th. He smacked an RBI double over the right-fielder’s head to put the Muckdogs on the board, and help Batavia avoid a second straight shutout. After that spot in the game though, the ‘dogs only pushed one more runner on base thanks to a walk. The Muckdogs set a season low for hits in the game with just three.

The second game of the series takes place on Thursday, a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Dodd Stadium. Chris Vallimont, the Marlins’ fifth-round pick is expected to make his second career start for the Muckdogs.

July 10, 2018 - 11:20am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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The Muckdogs fell to State College on Monday night at Dwyer Stadium, 3-0.

Bryce Howe worked the first three innings and gave up only one run but took the loss.

Gunnar Schubert, out of Gonzaga University, drafted in the 28th round this year and added to the roster June 25, had two hits, raising his average to .333.

Batavia doesn't play today and travels to Connecticut for a three-game series. They're back home Saturday for a 7:05 p.m. game against Lowell.

Top photo: Michael Donadio stole second base in the fourth inning.

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A strike-out, throw-out double play in the fifth inning. The Spikes' Edwin Figuera struck out swinging and Batavia's catcher Igor Baez threw out Nick Dunnwtih second baseman Luke Jarvis taking the throw on a short-hop.

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Matt Brooks dives back to first safely in the fifth inning.

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Spikes shortstop Delvin Perez.

July 8, 2018 - 7:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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The Muckdogs have split the first two-games of a three-game series with State College at Dwyer Stadium.

Saturday night the home team lost 7-4 despite a strong start by Alberto Guerrero, of Panama, who went six innings and gave up only one earned run on three hits, striking out seven.

This afternoon, the Muckdogs scorched the Spikes 8-3. First baseman Sean Reynolds hit his fourth home run of the season. He had two hits, two RBIs, and scored three times. The winning pitcher was Dylan Cyphert, who tossed two innings in relief and gave up two hits and no runs.

Photos are from Saturday's game, which would have been posted this morning with a game story but for the Stumblin' Inn fire.

The good guys will try to capture the three-game series tomorrow night. Game time is 7:05 at Dwyer Stadium.

Top photo: Reynolds slides into third, taking an extra base on a single to center by Denis Karas.

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