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May 25, 2016 - 9:46am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, alexander.

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Jake Wozniaka struck out four over six innings, but errors proved costly for Alexander on Tuesday at Dwyer Stadium in the Section V Class C1 semi-final.

Avon scored two unearned runs to beat the Trojans, 2-1.

In other baseball action yesterday:

  • Batavia beat Wayne, 11-5. The Blue Devils play for the Section V championship Thursday at a location to be announced against Aquinas. 
  • Oakfield beat Geneseo, 11-3, and will play Bolivar Rickburg at a location to be announced Friday.
  • Notre Dame beat Lyndonville, 8-3, and will play Genesee Valley on Friday at a location to be announced.

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May 21, 2016 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports.

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Notre Dame beat Honeoye 3-2 yesterday at Dwyer Stadium to advance to the semifinals of the Class D1 Section V playoff.

The Fighting Irish will play Lyndonville on Tuesday at GCC at 4:30 p.m.

Also, Friday, Oakfield beat Keshegua, 6-2, and will play Geneseo at 7 p.m., Tuesday, at Dwyer Stadium in a Class C2 playoff.

Alexander beat Williamson 7-5 will play Avon at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, at Dwyer in the Class C1 semifinal.

Batavia beat Geneva, 3-2.

Le Roy lost to Holley, 4-3 and Pembroke lost to Avon, 11-5.

In girls softball, Batavia plays Aquinas at 5 p.m., Tuesday, in Brockport. Le Roy plays Wayland-Cohocton at 4 p.m., Monday, in Canandaigua. Oakfield-Alabama plays Geneseo at 5 p.m., Monday, at GCC. 

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May 21, 2016 - 5:25pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in baseball, sports, Batavia HS, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.

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The top seed in Class A2, the Batavia Blue Devils, bested 8 seed Geneva Panthers at Dwyer Stadium for the section V quarterfinal matchup Friday afternoon. 

Greg Mruczek pitched the first couple innings. Geneva made some key hits and took control early after two innings leading 2-1.

Trevor Sherwood pitched the next three innings as the game remained the same. Senior Alex Canty hit a triple in the third inning to get within scoring range. Geneva held strong and Batavia could not get a break.

Batavia pitcher Alex Jones came in the last two innings to hold off Geneva from scoring. The score was set at 2-1 score until the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Steven Stefaniak got a base hit to lead off  senior Tyler Hale, who was up next and hit a triple to bring Stefaniak in for Batavia to tie the game 2-2.

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Geneva was in trouble with one out, took a timeout to plan their strategy with two heavy hitters, Senior Alex Canty and Junior Jerry Reinhart up next.  Geneva intentionally walked them both Alex to 2nd base, Jerry to 1st, bases loaded.

Batavia called timeout, Tyler’s twin brother Senior Jake Hale was at the plate. 

"I have been playing baseball my whole life and told my brother to get the ball to the left side and knew he would come through," Tyler said.  "It may not have been a hard hit ball but it got in play and scored the run."

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Jake Hale hit a grounder to the left of home plate, dug in the dirt bounced in the air. Tyler made a run to home plate, the pitcher came in grabbed the ball, bobbled it, lost his grip and went in the air. He slid into home plate and Batavia won 3-2.

Jake Hales thoughts before taking the plate: "I went up there just to play baseball, waiting for my pitch to hit and swung and missed at one, took one that was low in the dirt. I found the one but barely got a piece of it and then ended up bringing Tyler in. I ran to first as fast as I could hoping I would not get out, but then when I heard the cheers I knew my brother made the run and we won the game, then excitement took over."

Batavia plays 4 seed Wayne at Hilton High School, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

For more photos go to: Steve Ognibene Photography

May 20, 2016 - 11:16am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, youth sports.

Press release:

Current summer baseball players ages 9 thru 14 can extend their season through the fall with Team New Era Fall Elite Travel Teams.

Teams will participate in league and tournament play in September and October.

Tryouts will be held at our Depew training facility, 3950 Broadway as follows: Current summer players ages 9 thru 11Monday June 6th at 6 p.m. and Wednesday July 13th at 6 p.m.

Current summer players ages 12 thru 14Monday June 6th at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday July 13th at 7:30 p.m. 

Players need only attend one tryout.

For more information see www.teamnewerabaseball.comor contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

May 19, 2016 - 12:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball, news.

Press release:

Single-game tickets for all 2016 Muckdogs’ home games go on sale Monday, May 23rd beginning at 9 a.m. at the Dwyer Stadium Box Office, over the phone by calling (585) 343-5454 or online at muckdogs.com.

Normal box office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The same great, affordable ticket prices are back again in 2016. Tickets range from $8 for box seats to just $7 for adult General Admission tickets and $6 for kids and senior General Admission tickets.

During the season, the ticket office opens on game days at 9 a.m. Monday-Friday and closes at the end of fifth inning. On Saturday and Sunday, the ticket office will open at 10 a.m. and close after the fifth inning.

Season tickets, coupon books, ticket packages, and group tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit Muckdogs.com or call (585)343-5454 and press zero Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Muckdogs open their 2016 home schedule on Wednesday, June 22nd vs. the State College Spikes at 7:05 p.m. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen), New York Mets (Brooklyn), New York Yankees (Staten Island) and the Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2016.

May 17, 2016 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, muck dogs, news.

Press release:

“Since the Red Wings took over operation of the Batavia Muckdogs in 2008 after the Muckdogs had endured  several years of financial hardship, there have been several serious out-of-town suitors, none which met our, or the Genesee County Baseball Club’s, criteria for selling.

"While we have made no secret of the fact that the team is for sale, we are not in a position to comment on the current status except to say that baseball will go on as expected in 2016. The Red Wings are very proud of the way we have operated the Batavia franchise and continue to enjoy extending our reach to Genesee County. We are looking forward to opening day in Batavia on June 22nd.”

May 8, 2016 - 11:35am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, Batavia Rotary Club, Notre Dame.

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These photos are from game two of yesterday's Rotary Club Baseball Tournament, between Notre Dame and Attica.

Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama in the first game, 6-2, then Attica beat ND 5-3.

Trevor Sherwood threw a no-hitter in the nightcap to give Batavia the championship with a 12-1 win over Attica.

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April 28, 2016 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, muckdogs, baseball.

Press release:

Today, Nazareth College honored Rochester Red Wings President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Naomi Silver with the Woerner Kollmorgen Award for Community Service. 

The Red Wings assumed operations of the Batavia Muckdogs prior to the 2008 season.

Community leader and philanthropist Silver has been involved with the Rochester Red Wings her entire life. The daughter of the late Morrie Silver, savior of Rochester baseball, Silver grew up with the game and has taken an active role in Rochester Community Baseball for more than three decades.

Beginning as an intern in the 1990s, she assumed roles of increasing responsibility, eventually becoming the country's first and only female at the helm of a professional minor league baseball franchise. As President, CEO and COO of the organization, she has overseen the Red Wings' most successful period in its history. Her devotion to Rochester has made the city's franchise among the most revered, respected, and longest continuously operating franchises in all of baseball.

Silver also believes strongly in giving back to her community. She currently serves on the boards of or is deeply involved with a variety of local, regional and national organizations, including Monroe Community College, Special Olympics, United Way, First Niagara Bank, Jewish Community Federation, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, and Hillel Community Day School. Her awards and recognitions are numerous and tell of her dedication to her profession and her community.

Among others, they include the PRism Award CEO of the Year, St. John Fisher Sports Manager of the Year, Minor League Executive of the Year, and Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year. She has been honored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Athena Awards, March of Dimes, and Rochester Press Radio Club. In 2004, she was inducted into the Frontier Field Walk of Fame, and in 2007, she joined the Hall of Fame for her own beloved Red Wings.

April 20, 2016 - 4:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, GCC.

Press release:

Genesee Community College baseball pitcher and outfielder Connor Barleben (Albion) has committed to Ashland University (OH) after signing a National Letter of Intent with the Eagles to continue his academic and athletic career beginning in the fall.

Barleben has played in 66 games during his season-plus career at GCC and compiled a .354 batting average with 73 total hits, 10 of them homeruns, and 43 runs batted in. On the mound, the sophomore has made 14 appearances (10 starts), pitching to a 4-7 overall record with 49 strikeouts and a 5.45 earned run average.

Ashland is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II member school and competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Association (GLIAC). The Eagles are coached by John Schaly, currently in his 19th season with the program.

So far this spring, Barleben is batting .355 with 22 runs scored, 20 runs batted in, and four homeruns in 30 games. The Cougars are 6-25 overall and 2-4 in Region III play.

Barleben will receive a scholarship to attend Ashland University.

Genesee Community College athletics program endeavors to provide a quality and competitive intercollegiate athletics program consistent with the National Junior Collegiate Athletics Association (NJCAA) philosophy and the overall educational mission of Genesee Community College. Participation in collegiate athletics should be an extension of the total educational experience for the student athlete. The inherent philosophy emphasizes the athletic setting as a classroom used to teach character, commitment, work ethic, respect for differences, and the importance of sacrifice, teamwork, and cooperation.

For further information and pictures go to Genesee's Athletic Web page, which is updated regularly with game results, team rosters, photographs and information about Genesee's overall athletic program -- http://www.geneseeathletics.com

February 23, 2016 - 4:00pm
posted by Session Placeholder in baseball.
Event Date and Time: 
February 27, 2016 -
10:00am to 2:00pm

Registration is officially open for all divisions of Batavia Minor League Youth Baseball for girls and boys ages 4 to 10. You are welcome to come to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Veterans Memorial Drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 27, to register.
Also, online registration is now available. Log onto the league’s Web site via the LeagueLineup.com portal at:
http://www.leaguelineup.com/bataviaminorleague
Click on 2016 registration on the right side and proceed.

February 14, 2016 - 2:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, sports.

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We're less than a week away from the annual Batavia Muckdogs Hot Stove Dinner hosted by the  Genesee County Baseball Club.

Above, Travis Sick, general manager, with Diane Hawn and Russ Salway, hold a few of the items that will be up for auction at the dinner.

The dinner is from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Saturday, at the Sacred Heart Church Hall, 17 Sumner St., Batavia.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner at 5:30. 

The night also features live and chance auctions of baseball-related memorabilia (including signed bats and balls), work by local artists, and gift certificates from a variety of local businesses.

Tickets may be purchased in Batavia at Dwyer Stadium, Gerace’s Hair Care, the Williams Law Firm and the office of Dr. Alan Barcomb.

January 30, 2016 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball.

Press release:

The Genesee County Baseball Club will hold its annual Batavia Muckdogs Hot Stove Dinner and Auction from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20th at the Sacred Heart Church Hall at 17 Sumner St. in Batavia. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.

The evening will begin with a cocktail hour followed by a buffet dinner at 5:30. The Hot Stove Dinner is a time for good food, friendship and baseball talk. The night also features a live and Chinese auction of baseball-related memorabilia (including signed bats and balls), work by local artists, and gift certificates from a variety of local businesses.

Tickets may be purchased in Batavia at Dwyer Stadium, Gerace’s Hair Care, the Williams Law Firm and the office of Dr. Alan Barcomb.

January 6, 2016 - 12:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball.

Press release:

Team New Era Baseball will hold tryouts for its 8- and 9-year-old rookie elite travel baseball program at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17th, and Sunday, Jan. 24th, at their Depew facility, 3950 Broadway.

For more information or to register for the tryout, visit www.teamnewerabaseball.com or contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

November 18, 2015 - 1:41pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Genesee Community College is hosting a four week baseball camp starting Jan. 9. Genesee Community College Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to six players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Space is limited. Registration is now under way.

For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

October 30, 2015 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, have announced their schedule for the 2016 season. Batavia will open the 2016 season Friday, June 17th, when the Auburn Doubledays host the Muckdogs at Falcon Park. Batavia opens its home schedule Wednesday, June 22nd, when they entertain State College at 7:05 p.m.

The Muckdogs will host their annual Independence Day celebration on July 4th this year, marking the first time they have been home on the fourth since the 2012 season. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the New York Yankees (Staten Island), New York Mets (Brooklyn), Baltimore Orioles (Aberdeen) and the Tampa Bay Rays (Hudson Valley) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2016.

Here is a month-by-month and day-by-day breakdown of Batavia’s 2016 home schedule:
 
Month    Home Games    Day          Home Games
June        6                         Sunday          6
July         13                       Monday          6
Aug.        14                       Tuesday         4
Sept.        5                        Wednesday    4
                                          Thursday        6
                                          Friday             6
                                          Saturday         6

Season tickets, coupon books and ticket packages for the 2016 season will go on sale beginning Sunday, Nov. 1st. They can be purchased by calling 585-343-5454 or in person at Dwyer Stadium, Monday thru Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For a complete schedule, visit www.muckdogs.com.

The Batavia Muckdogs are the short-season, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins and are the last remaining founding member of the New York-Penn League, dating back to 1939. The Batavia Muckdogs are operated by the neighboring Rochester Red Wings.

Location: Dwyer Stadium, 299 Bank Street, Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: 585-343-5454; Fax: 585-343-5620
Web site: www.muckdogs.com

September 22, 2015 - 10:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, Jackson Street, batavia.

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I took Rocky out for a nightime walk and came across Alex Asselin and Brian Wowk having a catch on Jackson Street.

"Can you even see the ball?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah," Brian said.

Alex asked if I had ever seen them out before. Only during the day, I replied.

"We're out here nearly every night," he said.

The two young men are freshmen at GCC and part of the baseball program. Asselin is a third baseman and catcher from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, and Wowk is a shortstop and second baseman from Toronto.

The night catches have "definitely helped my eye-hand coordination," Asselin said.

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Alex Asselin

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Brian Wowk

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August 15, 2015 - 11:13am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

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The Batavia Muckdogs (22-29) came into Friday night’s rubber game matchup against the Lowell Spinners looking to avoid losing their first series since a July 20 series against Connecticut.

After nearly making a dramatic late-inning comeback in Thursday night’s game, Manager Angel Espada hoped the momentum would carry into Friday night’s game. Unfortunately for Batavia and the now rejuvenated fans, the bats would stay ice cold in route to a 3-0 loss to the Spinners.

“Basically we were flat overall tonight,” Espada said. “It’s just one of those things, we didn’t get much going with the bats.”

Jordan Holloway took the loss in the game but he pitched well enough to keep the Muckdogs within striking distance all night. Holloway only surrendered one run on four hits over six innings of work. He would struggle with his command by walking four.

Lowell scored the one run off Holloway in the fourth inning after a two-out walk to Kyri Washington, a double over Stone Garrett’s head in center by Mitch Gunsolus plated Washington for the Spinners' first run of the game, and really the only run they would need.

Spinners starting pitcher Austin Glorius, shut down the Muckdogs' hitters all night. The right-hander struck out eight Muckdog batters over five innings. He walked two but only allowed one hit.

Enfember Martinez finished up the game for Glorius and was equally as dominant. He struck out three and also only allowed one Muckdog hit.

“It’s hard to win a ball game when you get two hits, you’re not going to win many of those,” Espada said. “We just simply didn’t hit, it’s as simple as that.”

The Spinners added two insurance runs in the seventh inning off of reliever LJ Brewster. Tate Matheny led off the inning with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Jeremy Rivera.

Sean Coyle, who was on a rehab stint from Boston’s Triple-A team, singled to score Matheny. After a Andrew Benintendi walk, Victor Acosta grounded into what should have been been a double play, but the throw from Alex Fernandez to first base was off the mark, allowing Coyle to score and making it 3-0.

The Muckdogs were just unable to manufacture any offense. There was a period from the fifth inning to the ninth inning where both the Spinners' pitchers retired 12 straight Muckdogs and combine to get out 15 of the last 17 batters.

Batavia will have a quick turnaround as they travel to Auburn for a doubleheader on Saturday.

“You hope that their youthfulness is keeping them ready to come and hopefully show up and ready to play tomorrow,” Espada said.

With the loss, Batavia now sits six and a half games back of the wild card spot and will need to win a majority of their remaining games and hope for a lot of help from the rest of the league for any shot at the postseason.

“Of course we want to win a lot of games, but at the end of the day, my biggest job is to develop young players and young talent for the organization,” Espada said.

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August 14, 2015 - 8:18am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

Winners of three games in a row and seven of the last 10, the Batavia Muckdogs (22-28) find themselves slowly creeping back into the playoff picture, sitting only four and a half games back of the wild card. On Thursday night they continued their crucial three-game series against the Lowell Spinners (27-25).

In the previous three games, Batavia jumped on its opponent by scoring in the first inning, thus putting pressure on the opposition to score runs. Thursday night would be almost the complete opposite.

Behind All-Star Stone Garrett’s bat, the Muckdogs were able to close a 6-0 Spinner lead to just 7-5 in the ninth inning, while getting the tying run up to bat.

Down 6-0 in the eighth, Travis Brewster led off the inning with single. Garrett then crushed the 1-0 pitch over the green Batavia Youth Football shed for his 10th home run of the year.

After the Spinners were able to get one run back in the top of the ninth, the Muckdogs refused to go away quietly.

Spinner relief pitcher, Taylor Nunez quickly got the first two batters out in the ninth. Alex Fernandez then singled, followed by a ground out to first by Anfernee Seymour that was botched by the first baseman; Brewster was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Garrett stepped to the plate and almost instantly was behind 0-2. After fouling off a couple pitches, he got the pitch he liked and drove a long fly ball over the center fielder’s head, clearing the bases and making it 7-5.

“It’s not a seven to five ballgame without Stone Garrett,” Batavia Manager Angel Espada said. “The kid has been having a great season and has been working hard at making adjustments.”

Although their comeback effort came up short, Batavia was not without chances earlier in the game. Altogether they left eight runners on base, included having the bases loaded in the third inning, and were unable to score any runs.

“That’s baseball, the team that takes advantage of their opportunities and you don’t have to do a whole lot,” Espada said. “You just have to get a base hit here and there and that’s what they did [Spinners].”

The Spinners were able to plate two runs off of Batavia starter Justin Jacome, one in the second and one in the third inning. Jacome only pitched three innings, giving up the two runs on three hits and striking out two.

Nestor Bautista relieved Jacome and was not his usual self -- the one who got him voted into the All-Star game.

“The kid [Bautista] has been so good all year and he just didn’t have it today,” Espada said. “You couldn’t get it done but he battled and competed, but hopefully he can put this one behind him.”

The Spinners got to Bautista in the sixth inning when Josh Ockimey and Tate Matheny, the son of the St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny, both connected on two-out singles. John Nunez then doubled to score both runners and push their lead to 4-0.

Lowell was again able to plate two runs in the seventh inning off of Bautista after a Chad De La Guerra broken-bat bloop single and a Andrew Benintendi -- the Boston Red Sox first-round draft pick and seventh overall selection in this years draft out of Arkansas -- infield single put the first two batters of the inning on base.  

Victor Acosta walked to load the bases with no outs. Tucker Tubbs then flew out to second but in an attempt to keep Guerra at third, Taylor Munden’s throw home was off the mark and all the runners moved up a base, scoring Guerra. Ockimey then hit a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead to 6-0.

Batavia was able to battle back in the eighth and ninth innings but they just ran out of outs.

“Hopefully that carries some momentum into tomorrow’s game,” Espada said.

Garrett finished the game 2-for-3 with two walks. He had the two-run home run and all five RBIs for the Muckdogs. Brewster contributed to the comeback effort by going 3-for-4 with three singles and two-runs scored.

Kyle Keller impressed on the mound going the last two innings in relief, striking out five batters and only allowing one run on two hits.

With the loss the Muckdogs now drop five and a half games out of the wild card spot and also are in danger of losing their first series since the July 21 set against Connecticut. Batavia will look to avoid that on Friday night as they wrap up the series against the Spinners at 7:05.

Like all Friday night games, there will be fireworks following the conclusion of the game. 

August 12, 2015 - 11:39pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

It may have taken them 49 games, but the Batavia Muckdogs (21-28) have finally found the winning formula at home.

Coming into Wednesday night’s opening game of a three-game series against the Lowell Spinners (27-24), the Muckdogs had dropped the opening game in two of the last three series and each lost was not pretty. A 9-1 home loss back on Aug. 3 to State College and an 11-5 lost this past Sunday to Vermont, were outcomes Batavia was looking to avoid.

Batavia, just like it did in both games of the doubleheader on Tuesday, jumped out in front in the very first inning.

After Muckdogs starter, Dillon Peters worked a clean top half of the inning, Batavia plated two runs in the bottom half of the first.

Travis Brewster worked a one-out walk and moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt. All-Star Brad Haynal then doubled home Brewster to score the games first run. Haynal advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored when ball four to Roy Morales was too much for Spinners catcher, Austin Rei to handle, allowing Haynal to score and giving the Muckdogs a quick 2-0 lead.

“It’s always good when you can score early,” Manager Angel Espada said. “It puts pressure on the other team offensively, they have to score runs and manufacture things and it gives you a little bit of breathing room.”

The Muckdogs added a run to make it 3-0 in the fourth inning when Taylor Munden singled, moved to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and later scored when an Anfernee Seymour hard-hit ball went of the pitchers leg, allowing Munden to score and Seymour to end up at second.

“You start winning games and you start seeing your work pay off and your starting to believe,” Espada said.

Dillon Peters started on the mound for Batavia and continued right where Brett Lilek and Scott Squier left off on Tuesday. Peters went a solid five innings, allowing two runs on four hits, two walks and striking out two.

“You attack…they just give us a chance, first to compete and then a chance to win a game and that’s what you want from your pitching staff,” Espada said.

Ryley MacEachern relieved Peters after the fifth inning and while he did strikeout an impressive six batters in three innings, he also allowed two runs on three hits. The runs were the first allowed by a Batavia pitcher in 18 straight innings.

The Spinners were able to tie and take the lead in the seventh inning after Aneudis Peralta reached on an infield single. A bunt single by Jeremy Rivera put two runners on with no outs.

Chad De La Guerra cleared the bases with a standup triple to make the score 4-3. If this was earlier in the year, the Muckdogs would have gone into a hole and wouldn’t have recovered, but now we have this new and improved Muckdog team that believes they can win any game.

When asked what has been the difference between now and earlier in the season, Alex Fernandez had a pretty simple answer. “Wanting it more and playing more together as a team and we all have one goal now and that is to win,” he said.

Fernandez would play a big role in the Muckdogs come back attempt in the eighth inning.

Morales singled to start the inning and a sacrifice bunt by Yuniel Ramirez moved him to second, a pitch hit Erwin Almonte, setting up first and second with one out.

Munden then singled to score Morales, tying the game at 4-4. Fernandez, who came into the at-bat with three strikeouts already in the game, laced a 1-1 pitch into the outfield to score Almonte and take the lead for good.

“I just concentrated on getting my foot down early cause he [Trevor Kelley, the Spinners pitcher] had a lot of movement, he had good stuff so just focusing on getting my foot down,” Fernandez said. “Earlier in the game I was all over the place, so just simplifying the at-bat and everything worked out.”

Batavia would add an insurance run in the same inning after a Seymour walk and a Brewster groundout to score Munden made it 6-4.

Curt Britt pitched a clean ninth inning, giving the Muckdogs their third win in a row and seventh out of the last 10 games.

Munden finished the game 3-for-4 with two-runs scored and a RBI while Morales was 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. MacEachern got the win on the mound to improve to 2-0 and Britt got his first save of the year.

“I wasn’t here in the beginning so I don’t know how it was, but since I got here it’s been very good,” Fernandez said.

Batavia will continue their three-game series against Lowell on Thursday, as they look to wrap up a seventh consecutive series win. First pitch will be at 7:05 p.m. 

August 12, 2015 - 9:19am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.
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It was bike giveaway night for the Batavia Lions Club at Dwyer Stadium. The winners were sisters Ashlyn and Veronica (on bike) Reynolds, of Le Roy, and Landon Brown, of Henrietta. Don Milleman, left, chaired the event for Lions and Tony Scalia is club president. (Photo and game photos by Howard Owens.)

 

Coming into Tuesday night’s doubleheader against the Vermont Lake Monsters (22-26), the Batavia Muckdogs (19-28) had lost two games back-to-back and were on the verge of losing all hope of getting within striking distance of the last wild card spot.

Brett Lilek and Scout Squier, who would combine to start both games of a doubleheader for the second straight home series, were tasked to keep the Muckdogs' slim playoffs hopes alive as Batavia looked to capture their sixth consecutive series win.

Lilek started the first game of the doubleheader and continued right where he left off from his last start. Back on August 5, Lilek pitched five innings; striking out eight while allowing four hits in an eventual Muckdogs win over State College. On Tuesday night, Lilek was equally as impressive, if not better.

“The guys went out there [Lilek and Squier] and pounded the strike zone, threw strikes and kept the game going for us,” Manager Angel Espada said.

Lilek dominated the strike zone all evening and kept the Lake Monster hitters off balance with is off-speed pitches. He was able to retire 15 of the 17 batters he faced in his five innings of work. Lilek recorded seven strikeouts on just 61 pitches thrown. He only allowed one hit in the first inning and walked one other batter.

Lilek got all the run support he would need in the first. All-Star Anfernee Seymour started the game with a walk. He moved to third after Vermont pitcher Kevin Duchene attempted to pickoff Seymour but he took off for second on Duchene’s first move. Chris Iriart, Vermont’s first baseman, then threw the ball into the outfield in an attempt to get Seymour out at second, giving Seymour third base.  

Travis Brewster then singled home Seymour for his eighth RBI of the year. Stone Garrett, also an All-Star, then doubled off the wall to score Brewster. On the attempt to throw Brewster out at home, Garrett tried to take third and was called out. After the play, the umpires got together and pointed to Garrett, who had gone into the dugout, that he was safe and to go back to third. Brad Haynal then grounded out to shortstop to score Garrett, making it 3-0.

“The hard work is paying off and we have been blessed that every time we have had a tough game, the rain out kind of gives us a breather,” Espada said.

The Muckdogs added another run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth inning, but they were just added bonuses. Lilek and Jordan Hillyer combined to throw seven innings of one-hit baseball. Each giving up one walk a piece, in total they only allowed three base runners all game, retiring 12 batters in a row at one point and not allowing a runner to pass second base.

The Muckdogs took game one of the doubleheader with a final score of 6-0. Garrett led the offensive going 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.

Not to be out done, Squier was just as impressive in game two as Lilek was in game one. Just like he did back on Aug. 5, Squier followed up a quality start from Lilek with one of his own.

Squier, whose only real trouble of the game came in the first inning, was able to shut down the Vermont offense, also pitching five innings.

Trace Loehr led off the game with a single. Steven Pallares then reached on an error by third baseman Angel Reyes. Squier was able to strike out two of the next three batters and get another to fly out to end the inning.

The Muckdogs again jumped on the Lake Monsters right from the start. Alex Fernandez reached on an E5 and Brewster quickly singled. A bad throw into the infield by the center fielder, allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. Garrett worked a walk to load the bases with no outs.

Haynal then grounded into a double play, but Fernandez was able to score to make it 1-0. Roy Morales grounded out to end the inning but not before the Muckdogs got the only run they would need.

“In both games the difference was the first inning,” Espada said. “We got a big inning the first game and we scored the only run in the first inning there.”

Squier settled down after the first inning and retired the next nine of out 10 batters. After his five outstanding innings, All-Star reliever and closer Steve Farnworth came into the game for the six-out save.

Farnworth worked pretty uneventful sixth and seventh innings to earn his 10 save of the year, sealing the 1-0 victory for Batavia and taking the series.

“We have been playing a lot better defense and we are making clutch plays…and that’s the difference right now,” Espada said. “We are pitching okay and besides the game the other day, we have been playing good defense.”

After his win in the first game, Lilek improves to 1-2 while Squier quietly continues to impress with a 4-0 record.

The Muckdogs will welcome the Lowell Spinners, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, to Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. for an extremely important series in terms of the wild card race. Lowell currently sits atop the wild card standings and with a strong showing in the three-game series, the Muckdogs could play themselves right back into playoff contention, as they only sit five games back.

Although the importance of the series cannot be denied or overlooked, Espada is not looking ahead.

“I’m not looking that far. I’m just keeping the guys focused on one game at a time and eventually if you do that, things will take care of themselves,” Espada said. “You don’t want to put that pressure on them, they are so young, that they don’t understand and try to do too much.”

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