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July 4, 2015 - 9:23am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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The Muckdogs were able to win their first series of the year behind 19-year-old Jordan Holloway’s strong start.

The 6-foot-4-inch righty kept the Mahoning Valley Scrappers off balance all night in route to a 7-4 Muckdog victory.

Most of the young players on the Muckdogs are not used to the grind of playing every day. With the unexpected day off on Wednesday because of rain, the Muckdogs look to have gotten some much needed time away because they are playing much better baseball as of late.

“When you aren’t playing as well as we were playing, time off of the field always helps,” Manager Angel Espada said. “Hopefully it helped us, but for some reason they are playing much better."

In the first inning, Holloway was able to work around a one-out walk to Scrappers left-fielder Ka’ai Tom by striking out DH Emmanuel Tapia and getting Nathan Winfrey to fly-out to left.

Holloway was able to work a perfect second inning while only throwing five pitches. The only trouble of the game for Holloway came in the third inning.

Connor Marabell led off the inning with a single and was moved to second by a Silento Sayles groundout to second.

Willi Castro doubled to right, scoring Marabell. Tom doubled, setting up runners at second and third with one out.

Holloway struck out Winfrey, but he was able to advance to first when catcher Blake Anderson couldn’t corral the loose ball in the dirt. Castro scored from third.

Holloway got out of the inning by getting Li-Jen Chu to fly-out to leftfield.

“We are talking about a 19-year-old kid who is learning how to pitch," Espada said. "It’s only his second year in pro ball and he is handling it pretty well. It’s just one day at a time, one start at a time with a young guy like him.”

Just like most of the season so far, the top of the Muckdogs lineup has carried them.

Anfernee Seymour and Stone Garrett combined to go 7-for-8 with four runs scored and three RBIs to lead the way for Batavia.

The scoring for the Muckdogs started in the first inning when Seymour knocked a single. Garrett beat out an infield single to short to set up first and second with one out.

A Korey Dunbar groundout to shortstop moved both runners up 90 feet. Seymour scampered home after a ball got by Chu, making it 1-0.

Batavia plated three more runs in the second all with two outs.

Ninth place hitter Joe Chavez and Seymour worked two-out walks. Giovanny Alfonzo doubled, scoring both Chavez and Seymour.

Garrett laced a ball in the gap for a triple, scoring Alfonzo making the game 4-0.

The Scrappers changed pitchers, bringing in 6-foot-6-inch James Stokes, who struck out Dunbar to end the threat.

Seymour would again be involved in Batavia’s scoring efforts in the fourth.

The speedy shortstop singled and stole second, even though the Scrappers called for a pitchout. He stole third and dashed home after the throw got away from the Scrappers' third baseman.

Seymour alone made the game 5-2. But the Muckdogs were not done.

In the sixth inning, Galvi Moscat singled up the middle, followed by Seymour and Alfonzo both getting hit by a pitch.

The hot hitting Garrett stepped into the plate and squeezed a ball down the first base line scoring two.

“They have been swinging well the whole season,” Espada said about Seymour and Garrett.

LJ Brewster and Steve Farnworth finished the game up for Holloway without allowing a run and only allowing three hits over three innings of combined work.

Garrett finished the day going 4-for-5 with three RBIs and two doubles. Seymour was 3-for-3 with four runs scored.

Holloway pitched six innings while striking out five and walking two in his first win of the season.

The Muckdogs improve to 3-11 on the season and look to continue their moment going into this weekend's games in West Virginia.

Batavia returns to Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday, July 8, against the Auburn Doubledays. 

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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July 3, 2015 - 1:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, Centennial Park, GO ART!, July 4.

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Big plans abound here for the Fourth of July weekend.

The Muckdogs kick things off at 7 p.m. with a game against Mahoning Valley. There will be a fireworks show after the game, and with the Muckdogs on the road tomorrow, that serves as your local Independence Day weekend pyrotechnics.

On the calendar tomorrow morning is the Kiwanis 5K, with a start time of 9 a.m. at Centennial Park. There's also a chance of rain in the morning, potentially the one blemish on the weekend weather.

In the afternoon, GO ART! hosts its annual Picnic in the Park at Centennial Park.

Sunday, it's time once again to ramble on down to Jackson Square (and School Street and Center Street) for the annual Ramble Music and Arts Fest.

July 3, 2015 - 8:47am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

After being rained out on Wednesday night, the Batavia Muckdogs and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers met in two, seven-inning games on Thursday.

Cody Poteet, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA, started for the Muckdogs in game one.

Poteet opened strong by retiring the side in the first inning on just nine pitches. While Poteet looked confident, his defense let him down in the second.

Nathan Winfrey led off the inning with a single and would quickly move to second on a failed pickoff attempt to first.

Winfrey scooted to third on a ground out to second by Scrappers' third baseman Austin Fisher.

With two outs, Winfrey scored after the Muckdogs' third baseman threw a David Armendariz ground ball into the dirt trying to throw him out at first.

Poteet regrouped and fanned the next batter to end the inning.

The Muckdogs were able to score three runs in the fourth after some great situational baseball.

Eric Fisher started off the inning by smashing the first pitch he saw right back up the middle. Ryan Cranmer drew a walk, setting up first and second with no outs.

Brandon Rawe executed a perfect sacrifice bunt, moving Fisher to third and Cranmer to second.

Ninth-place hitter and left field Cameron Newell connected on a fly ball deep enough to center to score Fisher from third making it 1-1.

Leadoff hitter Anfernee Seymour ripped a ball just inside first base to score Cranmer.

The lighting-quick shortstop scored from second when Giovanny Alfonzo singled, making it 3-1.

Nestor Bautista replaced Poteet in the fourth and scattered three hits through the final four innings of the game.

Batavia added another run in the fifth when Brad Haynal doubled and then moved to third on a passed ball. He then scored on another passed ball by the Scrappers.

With solid pitching and timely hitting, the Muckdogs avoided the worst start in club history since 1953 by winning the first game of the doubleheader with a final score of 4-1.

The teams headed to the clubhouse to get ready for the next game and all the Muckdogs offense must have stayed in the locker room.

Three Scrappers pitchers were able to hold the Muckdogs to only two hits the whole game.

Jose Zapata got the start for the Scrappers in the second game and allowed only one hit while striking out three over his three innings of work.

Dominic DeMasi took over in relief in the fourth and allowed a mere one hit over three innings of work.

Billy Strode notched the save in the seventh for the Scrappers, working around a two-out error to keep the shutout intact.

Mahoning Valley scored all they needed in the sixth inning.

Silento Saylas started the inning with an infield single and then stole second. He advanced to third on a Willi Castro sacrifice bunt.

Saylas scored on a Fisher double just three pitches later. Winfrey drew a walk and Li-Jen Chu singled home Fisher making it 2-0.

The Scrappers added another insurance run in the seventh making it 3-0.

The Muckdogs got a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to string any hits together.

The loss dropped the Muckdogs to 2-11 while the Scrappers improve to 5-8.   

Batavia currently sits in last place in the Pinckney Division and 10 games back of the first-place Williamsport Crosscutters.

The Muckdogs will finish up their short three-game home stand on Friday. The game is the annual Independence Day celebration and like all Friday night games, it will have fireworks following the conclusion of the game.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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July 1, 2015 - 7:50pm
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

The Muckdogs’ game tonight against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers was postponed due to rain.

The teams will play two, seven-inning games tomorrow, Thursday July 2. First pitch for game one will be at 5:05 p.m. with the second game to directly follow the conclusion of game one.

All tickets for tonight’s game (7/1) can be redeemed for any future home game. 

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 5, 2015 - 3:27pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs, Genesee County’s only professional sports franchise and the Single-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, are excited to announce the release of their promotional schedule for the 2015 season. This year’s schedule will once again feature fireworks, giveaways, special events and daily promotions.

This year’s promotional schedule is jammed pack with more fun than ever. Throughout the 2015 season the Muckdogs will feature seven fireworks shows, eleven giveaway nights, a post-game catch on field with Dad for Father’s Day and the annual post-game helicopter candy drop. This year will also feature a “Turn Back the Clock” game where all tickets are just $5 and hot dogs and soda that night will cost just $1.

Highlights of the 2015 Promotional Schedule include:

  • Opening Day/Fireworks/Magnet Schedule Giveaway, Friday, June 19th
  • Muckdogs Note Pad Giveaway, Saturday, June 20th
  • Father’s Day Post-Game Catch on the Field with Dad, Sunday, June 21st
  • Kiwanis Club Bike Raffle, Tuesday, June 23rd
  • Frisbee Giveaway, Wednesday, July 1st
  • Independence Day Celebration Fireworks, Thursday, July 3rd
  • Batavia Little League Night, Friday, July 10th
  • Personal First Aid Kit Giveaway, Friday, July 24th
  • 22-oz. Cup Giveaway, Saturday, July 25th
  • Pre-Game Chicken Wing Eating Contest, Tuesday, Aug. 4th
  • Irish Night, Sunday, Aug. 9th
  • Lions Club Bike Raffle, Monday, Aug. 10th
  • Turn Back the Clock Night – ALL Tickets $5, $1 Zweigle’s Hot Dogs and Sodas, Thursday, Aug. 12th
  • Town of Le Roy Night, Friday, Aug. 14th
  • Team Photo Giveaway, Saturday, Aug. 22nd
  • Post-Game Helicopter Candy Drop, Sunday, Aug. 23rd
  • Bark in the Park, Sunday, Aug. 30th

                                                                                   
Fireworks Nights will be as follows: June 19th, July 3rd, July 10th, July 24th, Aug. 14th, 21st and 28th.

The Muckdogs will once again offer fans a daily menu of money-saving promotions available throughout the season.

The Muckdogs daily promotions lineup is as follows:

Mondays: Muckdog Monday presented by The Daily News: With a coupon from the Saturday edition of The Daily News, fans can purchase buy one get one free General Admission tickets.
Tuesdays: Kids’ Tuesday Night Tickets courtesy of New York’s 529 College Savings Program: The first 50 kids accompanied by an adult receive a free General Admission ticket.
Wednesdays: Family 4-Pack Night: Fans can purchase four General Admission tickets, four hot dogs, four 12-oz. sodas and a 2015 program for just $32, a savings of $19.00.
Thursdays: Kids Eat Free courtesy of Bob Evans Restaurants: The first 100 kids 12 and under receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda and snack item.
Fridays: Post-game fireworks will light up the sky after every Friday night game.
Saturdays: Dollar Draft Saturday presented by Eastown Beverage and Batavia Redemption Center: From 6 to 7 p.m., 12-oz. Bud Light and Genny Light drafts are just $1. Pre-Game Concert Series: Papa and Mama Root will perform oldies rock and roll in the concourse, courtesy of Tim Horton’s of Batavia, Cold Stone Creamery and New Buffalo Impact.
Sundays: Post-Game Run the Bases with Homer presented by Bob Evans Restaurant: Kids have the opportunity to run the bases with Homer after the game and receive a coupon from Bob Evans Restaurant in Batavia. Seniors Eat Free, courtesy of The Williams Law Firm: The first 100 seniors 60 and over receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda/coffee and a snack item.

For a complete promotional schedule, go to www.muckdogs.com or call the Muckdogs office at (585)343-5454.

The Muckdogs open their 2015 home schedule on Friday, June 19th vs. the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m.

Muckdogs season tickets, coupon books, group tickets and ticket packages are on sale now. Individual tickets are on sale now.

June 5, 2015 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

Would you like to live with the next Ryan Howard or Chase Utley?

The Batavia Muckdogs are again seeking local families to assist in housing players during the 2015 baseball season.

Anyone can help provide lodging for this year's Muckdogs by either providing space or renting a room, apartment, or home. While many host families come back year after year, the team is always looking to add to their list of availabilities for the players.

Host Families play a crucial role in helping young players feel comfortable in a new environment. Many who have hosted players in the past have had incredibly wonderful experiences. However, with players coming and going throughout the season, we have constant needs as far as housing is concerned.

The 2015 season runs from June 19 until Sept. 7 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age.

Anyone in need of more information on becoming a Host Family is invited to contact the Muckdogs’ office at (585) 343-5454 or General Manager Travis Sick at  tsick@muckdogs.com. You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

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 St., Batavia, NY 14020
Phone: 585-343-5454; Fax: 585-343-5620
Web site: www.muckdogs.com

June 2, 2015 - 3:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, education.

Press release:

The Class-A Short-Season New York-Penn League and its member clubs are proud to announce that the league's philanthropic arm, the NYPL Charitable Foundation, will once again award over $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its seventh year, the 2015 NYPL Scholarship Contest is open to any graduating senior from a public or private high school within the league's footprint. Any student who has been accepted at a two or four-year college or university, vocational school, or technical education institution is eligible. Applicants will be judged based on academic performance, volunteer and extracurricular activities, and the impact their local NYPL club and Minor League Baseball have had on their lives.

The scholarship contest will consist of two stages -- a local round and a divisional round. In the local stage, students will apply directly to their local NYPL team, with one applicant chosen by each of the 14 teams to advance to the divisional/final round. The 14 finalists will then be separated by the division of the team they represent. The winning application from each of the NYPL's three divisions (McNamara, Pinckney and Stedler) will receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

The deadline to submit applications to the nearest NYPL team is June 26.

“The New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation and our 14 member clubs are pleased to have the opportunity to assist outstanding high school seniors within our league’s footprint for the sixth consecutive season,” said Ben J. Hayes, president of the New York-Penn League. “This program will again recognize those seniors who not only meet and exceed traditional scholarship criteria, but demonstrate the positive community impact and lifelong memories fostered by their local NYPL clubs throughout the year.”

High school seniors interested in entering the 2015 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application from their local NYPL club, or by visiting the league's official Web site, New York-Penn League.com.

Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in late July and honored at a game in August.

The New York-Penn League and its 14 member clubs created the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, in 2003. The mission of the Foundation is to provide focus and support for the collective and individual charitable and community efforts of the New York-Penn League, its clubs, and their staff.

May 14, 2015 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports, baseball.

Press release:

Single game tickets for all 2015 Muckdogs’ home games go on sale Monday, May 18, 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 2015. 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 2015 home schedule on Friday, June 19th vs. the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Boston Red Sox (Lowell), Detroit Tigers (Connecticut), Houston Astros (Tri-City) and the Oakland A’s (Vermont) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2015.

March 27, 2015 - 2:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs today announced the start of their reading program, designed to promote reading amongst the youth of the local communities. Along with the help of NY's 529 College Savings Program, 2015 will mark the third year of the “HIT THE BOOKS with the Batavia Muckdogs” reading program. 

As part of this program, the Muckdogs have provided various schools and libraries across local counties with customized bookmarks. On the back of these bookmarks, children can have a parent, guardian, teacher, or librarian initial each time they complete a book. When a child completes 10 books, they can redeem the bookmark at the Dwyer Stadium box office for a FREE TICKET to any Sunday --Thursday Batavia Muckdogs game! In addition to the free ticket, the child will also receive a prize courtesy of NYs 529 College Savings Program. If a child reads 20 books, they will be entered into a drawing to win a backpack with school supplies, provided by NY's 529 College Savings Program; along with the opportunity to throw out a first pitch at a Muckdogs game.

In addition to the many participating schools, bookmarks will be made available to children at the following local libraries:

·         Richmond Memorial Library (Batavia)

·         Lee-Whedon Memorial Library (Medina)

·         Byron-Bergen Public Library

·         Haxton Memorial Library (Oakfield)

·         Hoag Library (Albion)

·         Pavilion Public Library

·         Corfu Free Library

·         Woodward Memorial Library (Le Roy)

·         Holley Community Free Library

Any questions about the reading program, bookmarks, or redeeming for tickets can be answered by Mike Ewing, at 585-343-5454, ext. 1005.

March 21, 2015 - 10:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, muckdogs, sports.

The Batavia Muckdogs Boosters held their annual Hot Stove Dinner Saturday night at Sacred Heart.

Club President Brian Paris gave a state-of-baseball-and-the-Muckdogs speech and talked about his trip recently to the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame in Kansas City.

The trip, he said, had him reflecting on the major transition baseball went through in the 1950s as Negro League stars and rising stars were finally admitted into Major League Baseball, and the transition facing baseball now as it tries to appeal to younger generations.

The way to ensure continued interest in the game is to bring children to baseball games. As an act of symbolism he surprised his son Zach with a gift from the Negro Museum, a jacket, that he said represented both baseball's past and its future by honoring its past in a memorable way.  

Bill Kauffman discussed Bill Dougherty's book about the history of baseball in Batavia.

Previously: Batavia's rich baseball history recalled in new book by Bill Dougherty

Hal Mitchell, representing the boosters and local Vietnam vets, along with Paris for the Muckdogs board, made donations to the PTSD program for women at the VA Hospital. Accepting the donations was Caryn DiLandro, the program manager.

Todd Jantzi, owner of Bontrager's Auctions, conducted the live auction.

March 3, 2015 - 4:34pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs have announced their manager and coaching staff for the 2015 season. For the third season in a row, this year’s squad will be lead by manager Angel Espada, pitching coach Brendan Sagara and hitting coach Rigoberto Silverio.

The 2015 campaign marks Angel Espada’s fourth year as the manager for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate, third as manager of the Batavia Muckdogs. Espada led the Muckdogs to a 34-42 record in 2014 and has compiled a 117-110 record during his time in Batavia. Espada spent the 2012 season as the manager of the Jamestown Jammers and the year prior as the hitting coach for the Jammers. Prior to his time with Jamestown, he spent two years working as the hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Marlins.

Espada was a 42nd-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 1994 First-Year Player Draft. In addition to the Braves, he also played in the Mets’ and Yankees’ systems. His playing career spanned 14 years and he finished with a .305 career batting average over 940 games played.

Brendan Sagara begins his fourth season as pitching coach for the Marlins’ short-season Single-A affiliate. Sagara has served as a pitching coach for 13 seasons with various teams. He broke into the coaching profession with the Dubois County Dragons of the Frontier League in 2001 as the Club’s pitching coach. He has also worked for the Braves as a part-time scout (2010-11) and the Mets as an associate scout (2006-09). In 2007, he was named Coach of the Year in Windy City of the Frontier League, while boasting the league’s top pitching staff.

Rigoberto Silverio returns for his third campaign as Batavia’s hitting coach and his seventh year in the Marlins organization. Prior to 2013, he spent two seasons as a coach for Jupiter. He spent his first three seasons with organization as a coach for the Jamestown Jammers. In his five seasons in the Marlins farm system, the former infielder was a career .243 hitter in 225 games.

Michael Bibbo will once again serve as the trainer for the 2015 season, his third year with the both the Muckdogs’ and Marlins’ organizations. Bibbo previously was the interim Head Athletic Trainer at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he spent four years (August 2007-September ‘10, September 2011-June ‘12) as the Assistant Athletic Trainer at Malvern Preparatory School. He spent seven months (February-August 2011) as the Rehabilitation Intern with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bibbo received his Master of Science in Rehabilitation Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and his bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., in 2007.

The Muckdogs home opener is set for Friday, June 19th vs. Auburn at 7:05. Season tickets, coupon books and ticket packages are all on sale now. They can be purchased at Dwyer Stadium or by calling (585)343-5454.

February 16, 2015 - 10:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, baseball, Batavia Muckdogs, muckdogs, sports.

Sad news for Batavia Muckdogs fans from Don Rock, head groundskeeper: He had to put down his dog, Haley, who was a familiar part of game days at Dwyer Stadium the past few years.

Rock said Haley had kidney problems.

"It was a very difficult thing for me to have to do and right now it is very rough for me, to say the least," Rock said.

November 4, 2014 - 3:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, have announced their schedule for the 2015 season. Batavia will open the 2015 season at home on Friday, June 19th, when the Auburn Doubledays visit Dwyer Stadium.

The Muckdogs will host their annual Independence Day celebration on July 3rd this year, as they are not home on July 4th. The Muckdogs also have a home game scheduled for Father's Day (June 21) this season. In addition to their Pinckney Division rivals, the Muckdogs will welcome the Boston Red Sox (Lowell), Detroit Tigers (Connecticut), Houston Astros (Tri-City) and Oakland A’s (Vermont) farm teams to Dwyer Stadium in 2015.

Here is a month-by-month and day-by-day breakdown of Batavia’s 2015 home schedule:

Month    Home Games    Day         Home Games
June                6               Sunday            5
July                13              Monday           4
Aug.               17              Tuesday          5
Sept.                2              Wednesday    7
                                        Thursday         5
                                         Friday             7
                                         Saturday       5

Season tickets, coupon books and ticket packages for the 2015 season are all on sale now. 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.

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Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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