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.