Muckdogs find young Tigers' pitcher unhittable
Batavia’s bats were kept to season-low numbers on Wednesday night. It was evident from early in the ballgame that hits would be few and far between for the Muckdogs. Chance Kirby was making his New York-Penn League debut with the Connecticut Tigers. Kirby, a strikeout artist in high school and in the GCL, had a career day for the Detroit affiliate.
Through the first five innings of the game, Kirby struck out a total of 12 batters. Only three outs were recorded by something other than a strikeout. He was nearly unhittable. Batavia was able to sneak one hit in, a Luke Jarvis single to center field in the third inning. Kirby struck out the side in the fourth and fifth to make for his highest streak of six Ks in a row. The 12 strikeouts that he recorded are the most that any opposing pitcher has recorded in a start this season against the Muckdogs.
The Tigers opened up the scoring in the second inning with a solo shot from Nick Ames that cleared the deep right field wall. Humberto Mejia worked himself into a bases-loaded jam after that but was able to escape it to keep the deficit to just one.
The third inning would yield more runs for the Tigers. After Mejia retired the first two batters of the frame, Ames ripped a two-out double for his second extra-base hit of the game. Then a walk to Eric De La Rosa set up Darwin Alvarado for a two-run double to make the score 3-0 after three. From then on, the Muckdogs’ bullpen would only give up one more hit in the game.
The offense, however, did not get their start until the seventh once Kirby had left the game. The Muckdogs only got one runner to first base (the Jarvis single). Michael Donadio started things off in the seventh for Batavia with a leadoff walk. After two quick outs, JD Osborne came back to the dish for his first game since June 28th. He smacked an RBI double over the right-fielder’s head to put the Muckdogs on the board, and help Batavia avoid a second straight shutout. After that spot in the game though, the ‘dogs only pushed one more runner on base thanks to a walk. The Muckdogs set a season low for hits in the game with just three.
The second game of the series takes place on Thursday, a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Dodd Stadium. Chris Vallimont, the Marlins’ fifth-round pick is expected to make his second career start for the Muckdogs.