The Muckdogs got their third walk-off win of the season on Tuesday night against the West Virginia Black Bears. Batavia clinched the series win as the team topped West Virginia for the bottom of the ninth for the second time in three nights.
The game had an eerily similar start to the game that was played on Monday night: Muckdogs score one in the top of the first, give up multiple runs a few innings later, and then have to come back late in the game. Brayan Hernandez came around to score in the top of the first on the first of three RBI singles from Albert Guaimaro.
Martin Anderson, who made his first Muckdogs start in the game, was excellent through the first 2.2 IP. However, getting that third out of the third inning would prove to be difficult, and would result in four runs crossing the plate in the inning. Dylan Cyphert would come on in relief to get Batavia out of the inning.
The Muckdogs found multiple chances to score again in the game. They loaded the bases in the sixth and Guaimaro would drive in another run to make it 4-2, but Pablo Garcia bounced into an inning-ending 3-2-3 double play. Garcia made up for it on the defensive side, where he picked off two runners from behind the plate.
The seventh inning had some fireworks of its own before the Independence Eve show even started. Batavia loaded up the bases for the second straight inning. After a pair of infield singles from Gerardo Nunez and Matt Brooks, Hernandez would look to make it three in a row. He squared to bunt, and the throw from the pitcher to first base was too far away to catch, which allowed one run to score, and put runners on second and third base after the error. Michael Donadio got hit by a pitch after to load the bases.
Guaimaro roped a line drive into left field with one out. A diving catch was made by Edison Lantigua and by the time he got up to throw, Brooks had supposedly tagged up and nearly scored to tie the game at four. Shortly after the celebration, the Black Bears appealed to third to see if Brooks had left early, and home plate umpire Tyler Witte called Brooks out.
That was then the third out and reversed the score to 4-3. Mike Jacobs was ejected after arguing the call, leaving the Muckdogs with one less run and a manager than they thought they would have after the seventh inning.
In the eighth and ninth innings, Batavia’s bullpen was able to shut the door on the Black Bear bats, leaving things up to the bottom of the ninth. Hernandez smacked a leadoff double to start the frame.
Sean Reynolds would draw a one-out walk two batters later to set up Guaimaro to hit his third RBI single of the game. Hernandez scored to make it a tie game and both Reynolds and Guaimaro moved into scoring position on the throw.
Since the Muckdogs had the winning run 90 feet away, the Black Bears decided to walk Denis Karas to load the bases for a third straight inning. Hoping to get the out at the plate, West Virginia was going to take their chances with Demetrius Sims, who is on a five-game hit streak. He collected a total seven hits in the series, with the last one coming in the game’s final at-bat.
Sims hit s short ground ball to the first baseman Luke Mangieri, who couldn’t make a play before Reynolds scored from third to win the game 5-4. That was the third walk-off win of the season for Batavia and the second of the series against the Black Bears.
The Muckdogs head out on the road for a three-game series against the Pinckney Division leaders: the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Afterward, they will return home for another three-game set against the State College Spikes.
Photos by Howard Owens.
Top Photo and second photo: Muckdogs Manager Mike Jacobs getting tossed from the game by a seemingly smiling home plate umpire Tyler Witte in the seventh inning. After getting tossed, Jacobs walked over to home plate and methodically and meticulously covered it with dirt. Jacobs disputed a call by Witte that Matt Brooks left third base too soon when he tagged up on a fly out to left field. Instead of scoring the tying run, Brooks became the third out of the inning as a result of the call.
Dylan Cyphert pitched two-and-one-third innings, giving up two hits and no runs. He walked one.
Center fielder Brayan Hernandez had three hits in five at bats and scored twice. One of his hits was a double.
Albert Guaimaro had three hits in five at bats.