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July 21, 2016 - 2:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, sports, baseball, youth baseball camp, news.

Join the Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium Aug. 18th, 19th, and 20th for our youth baseball camp!

Kids ages 6-14 will receive two days of on-field instruction from the Muckdogs players and coaches on August 18th and 19th from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Children will learn from the pros in the areas of hitting, fielding, pitching, catching, base running and bunting. Then on Aug. 20th, campers will be able to come back to Dwyer for a private autograph signing with the team 30 minutes before the gates open (5:30 p.m.) and then be recognized on the field prior to the Muckdogs game vs. the West Virginia Black Bears (Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate).

Campers will also receive a special T-shirt not available in the team store, a camp photo, two tickets to the Aug. 20th game, as well as daily lunch, all for only $70. Registration forms are available at Dwyer Stadium and online at muckdogs.com. Space is limited and all registrations and payments must be turned in by Friday, Aug. 5th

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The Batavia Muckdogs are the short-season, Class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins and are the lone remaining founding members 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

Website: www.muckdogs.com

July 15, 2016 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, baseball, sports, news.

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Visiting teams are bringing more top prospects to Batavia over the next couple of nights, with a first-rounder starting for Aberdeen tonight, and the son of a former major leaguer who missed last season because of an injury tomorrow night.

This evening, Cody Sedlock, the 27th overall pick for the Baltimore Orioles, takes the mound against the Muckdogs in his second professional start. Hailing from Rock Island, Ill., Sedlock set a new school record in strikeouts this season for the University of Illinois. 

On Saturday, Hunter Harvey (photo) continues his comeback effort. The son of former major league pitcher Bryan Harvey was a first-round pick for the Orioles in 2013.

Last night, Aberdeen also put a prospect from Rochester on the mound. Steven Klimek, a graduate of Greece Arcadia before attending St. Bonaventure, pitched two and a third innings, fanning six and not allowing a hit against eight batters.

Photo of Hunter Havery courtesy Mike Janes/Four Seam Images.

July 5, 2016 - 9:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

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On a night when the Batavia Muckdogs fell to 4-14 in a 5-1 loss to Brooklyn, at least there were fireworks after the game.

There was also the professional debut of the New York Mets' #1 draft pick, Justin Dunn, who brought his own kind of heat, striking out two in the ninth of a jittery eighth frame.

In the eighth, the Muckdogs managed two hits off of Dunn, matching the total number of hits they got over seven innings against starter Merandy Gonzalez (2-0, 2.21 ERA).

Muckdogs starter Reilly Hovis took the loss, giving up four runs and seven hits over four innings to fall to 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA. Relievers Chevis Hoover and Parker Bugg held things down over the final five innings, giving up a run and two hits.

For the Muckdogs, Isaiah White had two hits.

The Muckdogs face Brooklyn again tonight at Dwyer. Game time is 7:05. 

Top photo: Dunn delivering his first professional pitch.

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Batavia second baseman Rony Cabrera gets ready to apply the tag on Gene Cone's steal attempt in the sixth inning.

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In the second, Samuel Castro attempted to bunt for a base hit, but seemed to wait for the umpire to call his bunt foul before running toward first. He was thrown out at first.

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Dale Burdick steals second in the second. Burdick is the nephew of Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

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Reilly Hovis pitching.

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Aaron Knapp gets a stolen base, his second of the season.

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Justin Dunn

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July 3, 2016 - 5:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, muckdogs, batavia, sports.

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New York Mets fans in the area might be interested to know that Justin Dunn, this year's #1 draft pick by the Mets, and 19th overall, could make his professional debut tomorrow against the Batavia Muckdogs at Dwyer Stadium.

It's July 4th and there will be post-game fireworks, so expect a sellout anyway.

Game time is 7 p.m.

Dunn was born in Freeport and attended Boston College before being drafted.

Photo courtesy Mike Janes/Four Seams Images.

June 30, 2016 - 10:40am
posted by Steve Ognibene in muckdogs, sports, news, baseball, batavia, steve ognibene's blog.

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Pictured above, Pablo Garcia watching two West Virginia runs being scored.

A quiet start but energetic night coming into tonight’s second game versus West Virginia Black Bears, but the Batavia Muckdogs ended a three-game winning streak losing at Dwyer Stadium 9-4.

After the first few innings being tied, in the bottom of the sixth, Isaiah White stirs the field on a forced out grounder advancing Rony Cabrera to third who scored on Aaron Knapp’s single next at bat taking the game lead by one. Pablo Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to left which brought White in to score leading the Muckdogs after six innings 3-1.

Top of the 7th Muckdogs Justin Langley comes in, West Virginia unloaded on Batavia, scoring six runs runs by, George, Krause, Baur, Craig, Pabst for the Black Bears. Ty Provencher replaced Justin Langley, Provencher  escaped the inning allowing two runs by Leffler and Owen which brought West Virgina’s lead 9-3.

No change until the bottom of the ninth with two outs Batavia’s Jhonny Santos homers on a fly ball to left field to eventually end the night with Batavia losing 9-4, tying the series 1-1.

Muckdogs will play tonight ending the three-game home stances against West Virginia game time 7:05.

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June 23, 2016 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia, news.

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At least it was a beautiful night for baseball at Dwyer Stadium on Wednesday, even if the play on the field was a bit ugly.

The Batavia Muckdogs dropped their 2016 home opener 11-1 to State College, falling to an 0-6 start. But fans shouldn't be too discouraged. Today's roster of youngsters has yet to be supplemented by Miami Marlin draft picks. The season should get progressively better, as they usually do under Muckdog's manager Angel Espada.

On a night that could, maybe, be the last home opener for one of the New York Penn-League's founding franchises (but that's true every year these days), the team tapped its rich history and its ties to the community by having Jerry Maley, a lifelong Batavia resident who made his professional debut with the local team in 1948, throw out the first pitch.

The Muckdogs try again tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. More good weather is expected.

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June 22, 2016 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, muckdogs.

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David Kleinbach shared this picture of three youths doing what kids have done for generations at professional baseball games, peeking through holes in the fence to watch the game.

The Batavia Muckdogs open their home schedule tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.

June 22, 2016 - 10:21am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, muckdogs, news.

Batavia has a rich baseball history, and Bill Kauffman and Bill Dougherty, each in their own way, have written about that history. Last year, Dougherty released "A View from the Bleachers: Batavia Baseball," and Kauffman, whose latest book is "Poetry Night at the Ballpark," has used Batavia baseball in his books and essays to frame his love for a life lived at human scale where neighbors rub shoulders and crack wise between pitches.

In anticipation of at least one more Batavia Muckdogs baseball season, we sat down in the stands at Dwyer Stadium with Bill and Bill to talk baseball, writing and life in Batavia.  

Baseball in Batavia, at least professional baseball, is listed on the endangered species list, soon to join the dodo bird and the passenger pigeon on the list of treasures lost to history. We know we have the 2016 season, and we are pretty sure there will be a 2017 season, but beyond that, the profiteers in the commissioner's office of Ben J. Hayes can't wait to yank the franchise away from the league's ancestral home. 

It's a myth that the Muckdogs lack sufficient local fan support. While Batavia ranks dead last in total attendance, it's actually one of the more stoutly supported teams in the league, ranking eighth in per-capita attendance, drawing a healthy 6 percent of the city's population on an average game night.

"Baseball is one of the things that gives Batavia its character, its flavor, its savor," Kauffman said. "It keeps us from drifting into the great American nothingness that has consumed so much of this country. This is the birthplace of the New York-Penn League, and the league, unfortunately, is on this crazy madcap expansion where it stretches now from Burlington, Vermont to Morgantown, West Virginia. It’s insane. It's driven transportation and lodging costs way up and makes it very hard for small market teams to survive. If Batavia lost its franchise, I think the league would lose its heart and soul."

It's debatable, of course, whether the league still has any heart or soul, having some time ago crassly moved its headquarters out of New York to St. Petersburg, Fla.

Writers love baseball for the same reason some sports fans have drifted to faster-paced contests. It's the lulls between pitches, between hitters and between innings, that give baseball its grace, making it a game for fans with active minds and a gift for gab.

"There’s a lot of room in between things in baseball and the things that fill up that room are to me what make it a real special experience," Kauffman said.

Minor league baseball is its own special treat, says Dougherty, especially at this level, short-season Single A, where even the most experienced player hasn't even played 100 games yet of professional ball and many, when they first walk onto Dwyer's lush infield, haven't seen their first professional pitch.

"They come here, and they're not too polished, but as the season goes on you notice a definite improvement in overall play," Dougherty said. "They know what to do and some of the plays you would actually say, ‘that’s a major league play.’ I appreciate the ambiance and seeing the players develop right before your eyes.”

The name of Kauffman's book comes from a somewhat historical, or perhaps, ignominious night in Batavia baseball lore, the night and when he and Club President Brian Paris decided that rather than playing canned music -- which they both hate -- between innings, they and a few others would read poems about baseball.

"You can already tell, this was a horrible idea," Kauffman said.

After the few innings, Paris asked the fans, music or poetry? The cry of the fans -- decidedly not fans of Charles Bukowski and Marianne Moore -- filled the air, "music."

They read more poetry.

"The fact that it didn’t go over well, it was a Batavia thing," Kauffman said. "If it was San Francisco, people would go, ‘oh, that’s cool,’ but Batavia is unselfconscious and I like that."

The Batavia Muckdogs open their home schedule tonight at Dwyer Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.

June 6, 2016 - 12:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Announcements, muckdogs, batavia.

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 2016 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 availability 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 goes.

The 2016 season runs from June 17 until Sept. 5 and players typically range from 18-23 years of age. Because of the players schedule, they typically spend about 40 nights in their host family home. 

Anyone in need of more information on becoming a host family is invited to contact the Muckdogs’ office at (585) 343-5454 or [email protected] You can also call our housing coordinator Shirley Fanara directly at (585) 356-3411.

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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

Website: www.muckdogs.com

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.

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 9, 2016 - 3:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, muckdogs, sports, scholarship.

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 more than $10,000 in scholarships this summer to deserving high school graduates from the league's 14 markets.

Now in its eighth year, the 2016 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 league 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 league/final round. The 14 finalists will then be judged by league representatives. Three applicants will be selected to receive the top prize of a $2,500 scholarship. All other finalists will receive a $250 book award.

“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 eighth 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 2016 Scholarship Contest can obtain the official application at Dwyer Stadium or by visiting Muckdogs.com. The deadline to submit applications is May 20.

Each club's winner, including the three $2,500 scholarship recipients, will be selected in mid-June.

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.

March 31, 2016 - 11:46am
posted by Billie Owens in muckdogs, batavia, news, reading program.

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 New York’s 529 College Savings Program, 2016 will mark the fourth 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 New York’s 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 New York’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
  • Woodward Memorial Library (Le Roy)
  • Holley Community Free Library

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

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.

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

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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August 10, 2015 - 8:15am
posted by Kurtis Dunlap in baseball, sports, muckdogs.

CenturyLink Field, home of the 12th man, Lambeau Field, home of the Lambeau leap, and Oracle Arena, the home of the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors all share one common denominator, home field means something. The crowd, the tradition and the history all seem to give the home team that added edge. 

For the Batavia Muckdogs (19-27) playing at home this season has meant absolutely nothing. They actually have a slightly better record on the road 10-14, compared to at home 9-14.

Now it would be naïve to compare Dwyer Stadium to CenturyLink or Lambeau Field, but in any sport, at any level, playing at home should mean something.

Coming into Sunday night’s game against the Vermont Lake Monsters (21-26), an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, the Muckdogs were one of the hottest teams in the New York-Penn League. Winners of seven of the last 10 games and having won five straight series to close within five games of the last wild card spot.

Travis Neubeck started on the mound for Batavia and in only his second professional start he pitched fairly well but struggled with his command all night.

“He didn’t have his best stuff but he went out there and competed,” Manager Angel Espada said.

Neubeck was able to get through four innings of work, allowing three runs on five hits while walking four.   

When Ayron Adames came in relief of Neubeck it was only a 3-2 game in favor of the Lake Monsters.

League All-Star, Stone Garrett tied the game in the bottom of the fifth when he hit his league-leading ninth home run of the year. Batavia tacked on another run later in the inning after Ryan Cranmer reached on an error by the third baseman. He moved to second on a wild pitch.

Cranmer scored to take a 4-3 lead when Alex Fernandez grounded to third, but it was misplayed by the third baseman for his second error of the inning and third in the game.

Adames shut down Vermont in the two innings he pitched. He only relinquished one hit and walked one batter, plus striking out two.

Everything seemed to be going the Muckdogs way and it looked like they were on their way to winning the first game of this three-game series, but the wheels fell of the wagon in the seventh.

LJ Brewster began the inning by striking out the first batter he saw, showing why earlier in the season he was called up to the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Marlins Advanced-A farm team. Unfortunately, the rest of the inning showed why he was back in Batavia.

Brewster walked Nick Collins and Chris Iriart on back-to-back four-pitch walks. Brett Siddall then hit a perfect double play ball to second baseman Fernandez, who in turn let the ball go off his glove, allowing Collins to score from second, tying the game at 4-4.

Now with runners at first and third, Skye Bolt singled to score Iriart easily. Left fielder Brandon Rawe inexcusably let the ball go under his glove and allowed Siddall to score all the way from first, making it 6-3.

Not expecting a bunt, third baseman Taylor Munden was playing well behind the base at third and Ryan Howell saw that and tried, and executed perfectly, a squeeze play, scoring Bolt from third and reaching first base himself, without even a throw.

Brewster’s nightmare of a game continued in the eighth when he allowed two more runs on three hits and one walk.

“Young pitchers, young players sometimes you try to do too much in certain situations and that’s part of the game,” Espada said. “It’s part of their learning experience as a professional.” 

The Lake Monsters added two more runs in the ninth inning off of Aneury Osoria to bring their total to 11. Batavia was able to score one run in the bottom of the ninth but the game was well decided by then.

As announced earlier in the week, the Muckdogs have an incredible six players selected to the All-Star team even though they have the worst record in the league. Both Anfernee Seymour and Stone Garrett were chosen and they showed why on Sunday.

Seymour went 3-for-4 with three singles, a run scored and an amazing four stolen bases, bringing his season total to 22, just one behind the league leader. Garrett went just 1-for-3 but he added to his league-leading home run tally and scored two runs.

“It’s a whole team effort and you don’t want to put the pressure on these young guys at this level because they are All-Stars,” Espada said.

The Muckdogs will return to Dwyer Stadium on Monday night to try and right the ship and get back to their winning ways. Game time is set for 7:05.

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