Nic Ready homers in Batavia for first time, leading Muckdogs to 4-1 win
As a senior at the Air Force Academy in 2018, Nic Ready won the NCAA Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., when he hit a record 55 home runs in three rounds for the title.
During his senior season, he hit .341 with 20 home runs.
A 23rd-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins this year, Ready hit his first home run in Batavia (his second on the season) as the Batavia Muckdogs defeated the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, 4-1 on Monday.
Batavia (23-14) is in first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.
Ready, who is now hitting .293, had a 3-for-4 day with two runs and his home run gave Batavia a 1-0 lead in the seventh.
With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth with two outs, Troy Johnston a 17th-round pick of the Marlins this year, ripped a 2-RBI double off the right-center wall to give Batavia the lead for good.
“I thought it was gone, I did, it was an awesome feeling, you love when you get a ball like that in a situation like that,” Johnston said. "Milton (Smith II) starting it off with a hit (in the eighth), Nic Ready squeaking one through and Andrew Turner got us an insurance run. Hitting is contagious especially with two outs.”
A crowd of 1,139 saw the Muckdogs win on Kids Day.
"The kids were awesome, they were loud, they got after it, I loved it. It was a great atmosphere here in Batavia,” Johnston said.
Batavia has the two top hitters in the NYPL and they both contributed, as J.D. Orr (.368) had a hit and Smith (.352) had a hit and a run. Orr was a 10th-round draft pick this year and Smith went in the 22nd round last year to Miami.
Andrew Turner, a 39th-round pick in 2018, continued his recent hot streak as he is hitting .329 in his last 10 games and .299 on the season. He had two hits including an RBI double.
On the mound, Evan Brabrand continued his dominating season.
Brabrand, a ninth-round pick this year out of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., is now 2-0 with seven saves in nine mound appearances. He has struck out 14 in 9.2 innings and given up one run for a 0.93 ERA. on Monday, he had one strikeout in 1.1 innings, one hit allowed and no runs.
Starter Easton Lucas had a shutout for the three innings he pitched, struck out four and did not walk a batter. Lucas, a lefty, is a 14th-round Marlins draft pick this year out of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., and he has a 1.69 ERA.
Lefty Dakota Bennett went 4.2 innings, struck out two, gave up two hits and no earned runs.
The pitching is phenomenal, I am just glad I’m on the other side,” Johnston said.
Right after the game, the Muckdogs left for West Virginia for three games with the Black Bears. The Muckdogs are home Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with Williamsport and Sunday at 5:05 p.m.
The game Saturday is sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile and free general admission tickets are available at the box office while they last.
Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.