Muckdogs hoping for sweep of doubleheader in Niagara to get back to .500
The Muckdogs early last week were sitting at 5-5, riding a three-game winning streak before entering a four-game losing streak heading into action this past Sunday. Inconsistencies on both sides of the ball were credited to that losing streak said skipper Joe Martinez.
“It felt like when we would get runs and immediately give them right back,” Martinez said.
Looking to get back to their winning ways, Batavia played their most complete game of the season on Father’s Day on Sunday versus the Niagara Power. Just three days before, Niagara held a combined perfect game heading into the ninth inning as starting pitcher Ben Miller had a masterful performance.
Miller threw seven scoreless frames, not allowing a base runner and striking out 11 Muckdogs. Due to Miller only pitching seven and two-thirds innings prior to that appearance, he was pulled after 83 pitches. Cameron Gallardo was given the ball in the bottom of the eighth and kept the perfect game intact with just three outs remaining. Daniel Burroway broke the perfect game with a single past Casey Saucke down the third baseline.
Later in the inning, Joe Georger hit a line drive over the head of centerfielder Nathan Manning, putting the Muckdogs on the board as two runs would score on the Georger triple. The late-game rally came up short as the Muckdogs lost to the Power 5-2.
Fast forward to their next matchup against the Power, Batavia struck first in the fourth and did not look back as Spencer Marcus had a leadoff single off Power starter Joey Schott and would later score. Trey Bacon had a leadoff single off Gallardo in the fifth and tallied another run for the Dogs to go up 2-0.
For Batavia, former PGCBL Pitcher of the Week, Andrew Parr had his first start of the season, holding the Power scoreless. In six innings pitched Parr struck out six, allowing four hits, while also picking up his fourth win of the season. Parr currently leads the PGCBL in ERA (0.00) and Wins (4).
Ethan Frasca, Cameron Conley, and Charlie Szykowny scored runs in the sixth to go up 5-0, and Conley scored again in the eighth on Spencer Marcus’ RBI single. Batavia would snap the losing skid at four games in the 6-0 win and be tied with the Newark Pilots at 6-9.
Monday’s friendly matchup against the Elmira Pioneers was canceled at Dwyer Stadium due to a storm in Batavia. The Muckdogs then shifted their focus to the Pilots as they visited Colburn Park for the first time this season on Tuesday.
With both teams tied in fourth place in the Western Division at 6-9, Newark got out to an early 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Blake MacMillian started on the mound for the Pilots, and Batavia had no answer for the Niagara University southpaw. MacMillian went five scoreless innings with only two Muckdogs reaching base but was taken out due to him mainly coming out of the pen.
Jimmy Dougherty was the man in relief, and the Muckdogs' bats came alive in the sixth. Brice Mortillaro started things off with a single; Michael Florides and Caden Walton had three straight singles. Abner Benitez knocked in two of them on a slicing double down the left-field line.
The game was tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh until Blair Frederick’s go-ahead two-run blast to go up 5-3. The flood gates opened as the Dogs scored eight runs in the seventh, batting through the entire lineup.
Batavia pitchers Dathon McGrath, Tyler Prospero and Carlos Rodriguez struck out 17 Pilots during the game, with an impressive outing from Prospero as he was responsible for six of them in his two innings of relief.
Batavia now sits at 7-9, heading into their doubleheader tonight with the Niagara Power at Sal Maglie Stadium. The rainout from this past Friday in Niagara Falls is responsible for the two seven-inning games with the opportunity for the Muckdogs to get back to .500.
First pitch of game one is scheduled for 5 p.m., with the second game starting 30 minutes after the completion of game one.
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