Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


June 15, 2019 - 4:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports, Vic Ready, batavia, video.
Video Sponsor

Nic Ready, who recently graduated from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where President Donald Trump singled him out and called him up to the stage -- made his professional baseball debut with the Muckdogs on Friday night.

Ready, from Poway, Calif. (San Diego County) is the son of Randy Ready, a former major league player whose career included a stint with the San Diego Padres.

Click here for a game report and video.

June 15, 2019 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, video, notify.
Video Sponsor

The 2019 season for the Batavia Muckdogs got off to the right start with 1,700 fans in attendance and a 2-0 win over the Auburn Doubledays.

Ben Hayes, the president of the New York-Penn League, the current owners of the franchise, said he's pleased with the improvements made by General Manager Brendan Kelly, Groundskeeper Cooper Thomas, and the rest of the staff during the offseason.  

Over the offseason, the league signed a three-year lease agreement for Dwyer Stadium and Hayes isn't talking like a league leader who wants to leave Batavia.

"We've been here since 1939," Hayes said. "Batavia means a lot to the New York-Penn League and there's been a lot of rumors and all that kind of stuff generated by people who are scared that the club's going to leave. But it's still here."

To keep the team here, though, the team needs community support. 

"The facility is a good facility at this point in time to play professional baseball," Hayes said. "We do need people to come and we need businesses to support the operations so that we can pay our bills, pay the bus company to transport us around, hotels -- all the different things that come along with a professional baseball team."

The team itself looks good. Several college-age players, some top prospects, lots of talent.

In centerfield this year is one of the Miami Marlins' Top 50 prospects, Milton Smith Jr., who hit .361 last year in rookie ball. He went 1-3 on opening night.

Dalvy Rosario, another top prospect, his first two hits in the league. He also stole a base and was caught stealing.

Peyton Burdick, a third-round draft pick from Batavia -- Batavia, Ohio -- started in right field and got his first two professional hits.

Nic Ready, from Poway, Calif. (San Diego County), an Air Force Academy grad (see separate video), and son of former major leaguer Randy Ready (San Diego Padres, among other teams, and for the previous three seasons, he managed in the Marlins system), started at third base. His first professional hit was a double and he scored a run.

Starting pitcher Remey Reed, a 2016 sixth-round pick from Plano, Texas, who spent part of the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Batavia, gave up only one hit over five frames to pick up the win. Cason Sherrod notched the save.

June 14, 2019 - 11:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Nic Ready, baseball, sports, muckdogs.

Air Force Academy grad Nic Ready is expected to make his professional baseball debut tonight with the Batavia Muckdogs, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Ready, a slugging third baseman, was drafted last week in the 23rd round by the Miami Marlins. He drove in 224 runs in 216 games for Air Force.

The Muckdogs open their season at 7:05 p.m. against the Auburn Doubledays.

June 13, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, baseball, Batavia 24U Baseball Team.

By Dan McComb:

June 4

The Batavia 24U Baseball Team kicked off its season at GCC Tuesday, June 4, with a 2-1 win over the Titans.

Trevor Sherwood pitched six shutout innings, striking out 12 and earning the victory. Tristan Aldinger worked the seventh for the save, striking out two batters.

The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Jerry Reinhardt led off with an infield single and went to second on a bad throw. Reinhardt stole third and came home on a wild pitch.

Then AJ Marcello walked with one out and came home on a triple by Casey Radka.

In the top of the seventh, with the tying run at third base, Aldinger struck out the #3 hitter looking to preserve the win.

The Batavia 24U Team next plays Shoshone at Shoshone Park Thursday, June 7.

June 7

The Batavia 24U Baseball Team beat Shoshone of North Buffalo 4-0 on Thursday, June 7, behind the combined one-hitter of Zeke Lynn and Casey Radka.

Lynn worked the first five innings, giving up one hit and striking out six. Radka earned the save, pitching two innings without issuing any walks or surrendering any hits and striking out three.

It was scoreless until the top of the third inning when Batavia struck for three runs. Ryan Mullen led off the inning with a single and was followed by a single by Josh Baptiste.

Josh Bradley grounded into a force-out, but a throwing error by the second baseman to first base brought Mullen to third base and Bradley to second base.

A wild pitch brought Mullen home.

Jerry Reinhardt then singled, and Radka delivered a two-out, two-run single to drive in Bradley and Reinhardt.

Batavia scored its final run in the top of the sixth. AJ Marcello led off the inning with a walk and was followed by a single by Luke McComb. Mullen then walked, and after two force-outs at home, Tristan Aldinger was hit by a pitch to score the fourth run.

Reinhardt and Radka led the hitting attack with two hits apiece.

Batavia improves to 2-0 on the season.

Batavia’s next game is against the defending champs, Clarence, in Clarence Sunday, June 9. Clarence beat Batavia at the playoffs last year 6-5 with a two-out, two-run double in extra innings.

June 9

The Batavia 24U Baseball Team continues to be undefeated (3-0) with a 10-5 win over Clarence in Clarence. Clarence is the defending champ. They beat Batavia in the playoffs last year in extra innings.

Casey Radka came in in relief in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs and finished the game off allowing only two runs and striking out six batters.

Batavia got on the board first in the first inning when Tristan Aldinger singled. Jerry Reinhardt followed with a double to drive in Aldinger. At the top of the second with Batavia trailing 3-1, Ryan Mullen got a single with two outs and came home on an RBI double by Josh Baptiste.

In the top of the third, with Batavia trailing 3-2, Aldinger singled, stole second and came home on an RBI single by Radka to tie the game.

Zeke Lynn then gave Batavia a 4-3 lead with an RBI double.

In the top of the fourth inning, with the game tied at 4, Luke McComb led off the inning with a walk, went to second on a single by Mullen and went to third on a stolen base. McComb scored on a ground-out by Josh Baptiste to go ahead 5-4.

In the top of the fifth inning, with the score tied at 5, Reinhardt was hit by a pitch, stole second base and came home on a Radka double. Radka scored on an error, as Batavia pulled ahead 7-5.

In the top of the seventh inning Batavia scored three more runs. Josh Bradley singled as did Aldinger, and both came around to score on a two-run double by Reinhardt. Zeke Lynn then drove in Reinhardt with an RBI single.

Aldinger had three hits and Reinhardt, Radka, Lynn and Mullen had two hits apiece.

Batavia’s next game is against North Buffalo at home at Genesee Community College at 6 p.m. next Tuesday, June 18.

June 13, 2019 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, baseball, muckdogs, marlins, sports, news.
Video Sponsor

The Batavia Muckdogs open their 2019 campaign at home at 7 p.m., Friday, which is the start of a two-game home stand against cross-Thruway rivals Auburn.

In the video, we talk with Tom Lawless, the new Muckdogs manager, and Dalvy Rosario, a top Marlin's prospect who is 19 and is expected to be the Muckdog's starting shortstop this season.

Last year in the Dominican Summer League, Rosario hit .257 with four home runs, 42 RBIs, 42 runs scored, and 26 stolen bases in 46 games.

This will be the 12th season Lawless has worked as a minor league manager since 1994. He's also been a hitting and infield instructor at the minor and major league level and he managed the Houston Astros in 2014 (70-92).

The former big-league ballplayer is best known for his bat flip after hitting a home run in Game 4 of the 1987 World Series (video below).

June 11, 2019 - 3:20pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, news, Batavia Downs, Ground Force Fights, mma, batavia.

Press release:

Representatives from Batavia Downs and Ground Force Fights today announced they will be holding a spot in Saturday’s MMA card at Batavia Downs for the Canadian pop star and American movie star to settle their differences in the cage.

On June 9th, Justin Bieber Tweeted; “I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you dont take this fight you're scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight?”

Richard Mitchell, owner of Ground Force Fights, responds by saying: “We would welcome both Justin and Tom to compete at Throwdown at the Downs 2.0. Fights begin at 6 p.m. and we’d be happy to fit them onto the card whenever it’s convenient for them, given their busy schedules.”

It is unknown at this time why the 25-year-old Bieber decided to challenge the 56-year-old Cruise to the bout.

“Mr. Bieber hails from London, Ontario, while Mr. Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York,” said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing for Batavia Downs. “Batavia is a perfect place for them to meet in the middle to settle whatever this beef is about.

"Batavia has an airport where both celebrities and any entourages can fly in. If they call ahead we can even send our Batavia Downs Shuttle Bus to pick them up.”

Regardless of whether Bieber and Cruise make an appearance, tickets are on sale now for Throwdown at the Downs 2.0 atbataviaconcerts.com.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.; event starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $55 for VIP seats closer to the cage.

Lawn chairs (which are normally permitted for other Batavia Downs events) are NOT permitted for this event. There will be limited chairs and bleacher seating available.

Each concert ticket is also redeemable once at Player’s Club in the three days following the event for $15 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines.

About Batavia Downs/WROTB

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia. WROTB owns and operates 17 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.

Since its inception, Western Region OTB has generated more than $215 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of those participating municipalities.

About Ground Force Fights

Ground Force Fights is an amateur mixed martial arts organization based in Western New York. We aim to give the public some of the most exciting talent and amateur mixed martial arts shows. They strive to be the best for not only fighters, but fans as well.

June 11, 2019 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, ATHLETES EDGE, 13U travel baseball, news, batavia.

Above, photo from May 27 game.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Batavia boys 13U baseball travel team has competed in weekly baseball tournaments in Rochester. The last two weeks they won both tournaments, on May 27 and on June 10, winning four games to reach the winner's circle.

The travel team is called Athletes Edge and they have two age groups: 10-year-olds and 13-year-olds.

Below, photo from June 10 game.


June 9, 2019 - 8:00am
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, batavia, sports, news.

Photo circa 1958. That’s Dave Reilly sliding and his infamous pal Charlie making the "safe" sign.

Submitted photos and story by Dave Reilly.

This year Batavia will be celebrating 80 years of baseball. Through the names Clippers, Indians, Pirates, Trojans, back to Clippers, and since 1998 the Muckdogs, the local team has provided adults and kids with a source of entertainment during the summer.

It also indirectly affected me ending up in the back of a police car about 60 years ago.

In the late '50s and '60s when I was about 10 to 15 years old (before girls), baseball was king with my friends and me.

In the daytime in the summer we would constantly be on our bikes with our bats and mitts riding all over looking for a place to play ball. One of our favorite places was the Little League park on State Street, which was deserted during the day and another field right by MacArthur Stadium where the Indians (as they were called from '57-'59) played.

We had a group of our guys and there was another ”gang” who lived in the stadium area who we would play for bragging rights.

As long as we were near the Indians' field we would go there when the team was at home and see if we could talk to, get autographs from, or maybe even score a broken bat from our heroes. The “heroes” were in reality 21- or 22-year-olds who had slim chances of getting to the majors, but they were still gods to us.

In 1957 the star was Ken Kraynak, who led the league in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in and thus won the Triple Crown trophy. We had an in with him, too, because for the summer he was dating my buddy Charlie's older sister.

In 1959 the “man” was Al Luplow, who went on to spend nine years in the major leagues. Once again, Charlie stood out but this time for the wrong reason.

Luplow was there in the clubhouse the afternoon Charlie mouthed off to some kid and got his arm broken. Al tried to comfort my friend who was screaming in pain until the ambulance got there. At least Charlie got his cast autographed by most of the players, but he never did learn to keep his yap shut.

When we were younger, 10 to 12 years old, we might have been allowed to walk to the game, but one of our parents would usually pick us up afterward.

Batavia Baseball Bargain -- the 'Knothole Pass'

Also, we would most likely sit in the grandstand section and watch the whole game. We were there for the baseball.

Back then, they had a season ticket for kids called a “Knothole Pass.” It cost one dollar and was good for almost every game. We sure got our money's worth out of that.

I guess the team figured they would make up the money by us kids buying the proverbial peanuts, popcorn and Cracker Jacks. I rarely had any money though, so they lost out on me. Also, I hated Cracker Jacks and still do.

In 1960 Batavia did not field a team due to financial problems. I'm not sure what we did with our summer nights that season, but it probably involved whining at our parents that, “There's nothing to do in this one-horse town.”

However, in 1961 the team returned as the Pirates and we returned as teenagers and some of the shenanigans that come with that wonderful age came with us.

Our parents didn't know it (do they ever?), but now we were likely to spend more time fooling around outside the stadium than in it. Also, we would more apt to be in a group of guys and the monster of peer pressure was lurking around to rear its ugly head.

One of our obsessions was trying to get a foul or home run ball that was hit out of the stadium.

But, in those days, minor league teams had no money to keep replacing expensive baseballs. So, they hired a few teenagers to go get the balls and return them to be used again.

Now, I'm not saying that the team intentionally hired mean bullies for that job, but it sure seemed that way to us younger kids. 

The teenagers were faster than us and mostly got to the balls before we could. But, on the few occasions when we actually snagged a foul or homer before them, let's just say that they didn't ask in a polite way to get it back.

We'd usually submit pretty easily, but if not we might go home with dirt on our clothes or a bruise somewhere. I do not recall ever getting to keep one of those baseballs.

Around that time, like many young teens, we began to get daring and try to smoke cigarettes. Of course, even though many of our parents smoked, we'd be in big trouble if they caught us doing it: "Do as I say, not as I do."

Acts of Derring-do

So, we couldn't smoke inside at the game because someone might see us and tell mom and dad. In fact, one time in elementary school I had a candy cigarette (there's a great product for kids) in my mouth outside and by the time I got home, my mom had gotten a call that I had been smoking!

So, if we wanted to sneak a cigarette we'd have to hide outside somewhere. One night, this is what got us into a bunch of trouble.

Behind the center field fence of MacArthur( now Dwyer) Stadium was a stone structure everyone called the Civil Air Patrol Building.

Apparently, during World War II, volunteers used be stationed there with binoculars to keep an eye out for German bombers who wanted to take out the Doehler-Jarvis Tool and Die factory or some other Batavia target.

By 1961 it was pretty much deserted except for men's and ladie's restrooms, which were kept open for people in the park area. 

(Author's Note: I was surprised on a recent visit to Batavia to find the old building still standing, albeit in ragged shape and marred by graffiti.)

My friends Charlie (yup, him again), Jay, Mike, and I were in the vicinity of the Civil Air Patrol Building during a Pirates' game. We were most likely once again on a futile mission to get a home run or foul ball.

At some point we went into the men's room to sneak a smoke. We were such chickens to get caught that we even shut the door. But, since the building was really not in use, there were no lights and this is where someone, maybe me, came up with a completely idiotic idea.

Enter Excelsior

In another open but unused room there were some old, cushioned chairs. They had either fallen apart or been vandalized so the stuffing of the cushions was hanging out.

We must have had a good vocabulary because we knew this straw filling was called "excelsior," a word that becomes important in this tale later on.

We took some handfuls of the excelsior back to the men's room, lit it on fire for light, shut the door, and commenced to fire up our Winstons or whatever brand we had. 

With no ventilation, within seconds the room filled with dense acrid smoke.

Not wanting to suffocate we had no choice but to throw open the door and exit posthaste while choking and coughing. As we regained our breath the gagging turned to laughter at ourselves as we realized how dumb we had been.

This hilarity did not last long.

We went back inside to stomp out the now smoldering straw, but didn't realize that the plumes had been seen by people inside the stadium at the game.

As we exited again, we looked up to see a Batavia City Police car speeding across the grass toward us. It turned out that a Batavia policeman (who shall remain nameless) had stopped at the game on his patrol and had seen the smoke, too.

What would you do if you were 13 or 14 and saw a police car coming after you? Of course -- RUN!

I'm not sure where the other guys bolted to, but I took off for a huge junkyard nearby. I spotted a rusted out delivery truck and hid inside.

I cowered there trembling like a kitten in a dog kennel. After a few minutes I got up the courage to peek out. There stood the cop with an annoyed look on his face.

“C'mon kid,” he said, “and don't even try running again. Your buddies are in my car already.”

Busted, I hangdoggedly trudged to the cruiser.

Meanwhile, Back at the Police Station...

As we sat in the police car sweating, we asked the officer what was he going to do with us?

“You're going to the station and the desk sergeant can decide how to deal with you,” he replied. “You know you could be charged with arson for setting that straw on fire.”

Then big mistake number two happened.

Someone, and it definitely wasn't me it was Charlie who said, 'It's not straw, it's excelsior.”

“Seltzer?”, the cop asked? “What the heck are you talking about? I know straw when I see it, and I'd advise you to shut up before you get in more trouble than you're already in.”

Charlie eventually became a lawyer, but in this instance he was ruled out of order.

Upon our arrival at the station on School Street, mistake number three occurred. As I exited the police car I tried to throw my pack of smokes underneath it.

They clunked off the side of the car and fell on the street just as the officer turned around.

“Nice try kid,” he snorted as he picked them up. 

Once inside, the desk sergeant saw us being herded in and asked the cop, “What were these guys up to?”

“I was at the baseball game and saw smoke coming out of the Civil Air Patrol Building," he reported. “I drove out there and these kids had been in there smoking cigarettes and set a bunch of straw on fire. They ran, but I got 'em,” he announced proudly.

“What have you guys got to say for yourselves?”, the sergeant asked.

Remember, Charlie couldn't keep his yap shut. With aplomb, he unbelievably inserted his foot into his mouth yet again: “Well sir, we were smoking but it was just a little fire. And it wasn't straw, it was excelsior.”

Wow. Fresh blood might be redder than the first cop's face, but that's doubtful.

Perp Walk for Rare Company

Mercifully, we did not get charged with arson. Our parents were called and had to come pick us up.

My parents almost never had company, but on this night a group of people were at our house and I had to do the perp walk through them to my parents' embarrassment.

For the next month my mother had me scrubbing walls, pulling weeds, and generally working from morning until night.

And Charlie's fate? His parents promptly enrolled him in military school in Syracuse instead of returning to Notre Dame.

It was questionable as punishment though; he went on to become a Captain and got to carry a sword around. It also served to add to his already big ego.

All of us had to go with our parents to see the Batavia Police Youth Officer Lewis Snell.

I'm not sure what admonitions he gave or what advice he might have given for our future, but it must have worked on some level because that turned out to be my last time in the back of a police car.

Unless I really go off my old guy wheels, I'm pretty sure things will remain that way, too.

Below, Batavia's minor league baseball field as it was when Dave Reilly was a boy, circa 1958.

Below, the old Civil Air Patrol Building as it stands today; the site of the excelsior escapade.

June 6, 2019 - 4:11pm

Press release:

Batavia Varsity Softball and Varsity Girls Tennis Coach Jim Fazio will be offering two camps this summer.

The softball camp is open to girls ages 9-16 from any town on July 8th-10th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Batavia High School Varsity field. Rain dates are July 11th and 12th.

Batavia Varsity Assistant and Athletes Edge Head Coach Brian Mruzcek, Batavia Pitching Coach Kevin Walkowski, JV Coach Jamie Masters, Batavia Stingers Coach Stan Kaus and some current varsity players will be camp instructors.

Fundamentals of pitching, hitting, throwing, and fielding will be drilled daily. Those taking part in pitching lessons must provide a catcher.

The tennis camp will be held at the Batavia High School tennis courts on July 22nd-24th from 1-4 p.m., with rain dates July 25th and 26th.

Alyssa Tretter, Batavia Modified A coach, and some current Varsity players will be camp instructors.

Boys and girls entering grades 3-9 in the fall from any town are welcome to attend. Fundamentals of tennis will be taught daily.

Cost of each camp is $50 and includes a dry fit T-shirt. Multiple kids from the same family will cost $40.

For more information and a camp brochure please contact Jim Fazio at 585-356-0901 or at [email protected]

June 6, 2019 - 10:32am

Press release:

East Bethany – Join the Genesee County Parks along with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club and try out fishing at DeWitt Recreation Area from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 29th.

Kids up to age 16 can join the fun and get the chance to win a prize with the Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club. Prize includes fishing gear donated by Cabela’s of Cheektowaga.

No fishing license required, this is part of the NYSDEC’s Free Fishing Weekend. Perfect for beginners!

Program meets at Pavilion 3. Friendly guides will be on hand to assist you.

Fishing gear provided or bring your own. Bait provided through a generous donation by Walmart of Batavia.

Call 585-344-1122 register or walk-ins also welcome.

For more information visit the parks' website here, or contact Shannon Lyaski at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

June 5, 2019 - 3:41pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Stingers Black repeated as Champions in the Second Annual Lions Club Memorial Day 12U Softball Tournament, played on May 26.

Area teams competing were: Batavia Stingers Black, Batavia Stingers Yellow, Le Roy, Lyndonville, Oakfield and Perry. 

Le Roy emerged from the preliminary rounds as the number 1 seed, and beat number 4 seed Perry in a thrilling come-from-behind semifinal game, to advance to the Championship game.

Batavia Stingers Black was the number 2 seed, and defeated number 3 seed Oakfield in their semifinal to advance to the Championship game. Batavia Stingers Black then defeated Le Roy to claim the Championship.

Batavia Stingers Black was led by their pitching “Dynamic Duo” of Loretta Sorochty and Karissa Kendall. Sorochty, named Tournament Defensive MVP, pitched 10 innings of shutout ball, allowed one hit, and struck out 24 batters.

Kendall was right behind with 23 strike-outs in 12 innings of work. Both pitchers were backed by strong defensive plays from: Allison Gibson, Libby Grazioplene, Gianna Falletti, Maddie Dennis and Sophia Branche.

Offensively, Batavia Stingers Black was led by Katie Landers, named Tournament Offensive MVP, for batting .625, with a Triple and Home Run. Also helping the cause offensively were: Cassie Ernst .444, Maddie Dennis .400, Alex Sanders .333 and Loretta Sorochty .333.

The Batavia Girls Fastpitch Softball organization would like to thank all the teams and their fans, for participating in the Tournament. A very special thank-you goes out to the members of the Lions Club for their generous donations, which makes this Tournament possible.

June 5, 2019 - 1:50pm

On Friday, June 28, Genesee Cancer Assistance will be hosting its 25th Annual Golf & Bocce Tournament at Batavia Country Club.

It is located at 7909 Batavia Byron Road. Golf registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and costs $100 per player. Bocce registration is $60 per player nd starts at 12 p.m. You can also register in advance; online at GeneseeCancerAssistance.org/golf, or call the office at (585) 345-0417.

Golf and Bocce teams will compete for a variety of prizes and awards. A steak dinner and raffles, including a “Dine & Sail” silent auction, will follow the games.

Sponsors are welcome. Seven sponsorship levels with various perks are available. Contact GCA for information.

All proceeds will benefit Genesee Cancer Assistance.

This year's honorary chair person is Bobby Aquino, who has been a dedicated volunteer for GCA since its founding. He has been—and continues to be—an invaluable asset to the GCA team and the patients they serve.

Aquino is an integral contributor to events preparation and setup—always ready to roll up his sleeves and do whatever is needed. Genesee Cancer Assistance is also exceedingly grateful for Aquino's generous financial support.

Genesee Cancer Assistance, cofounded in 1993 by Dorothy Schlaggel and Russ Romano, is a community-based, volunteer organization through which cancer patients and their families living in Genesee County have access to financial aid and a variety of support services.

Since its founding, Genesee Cancer Assistance has been fortunate to aid thousands of individuals; hundreds of patients each year.

For more information:

Genesee Cancer Assistance

127 North St., Batavia, NY 14020

(585) 345-0417


June 4, 2019 - 11:17pm


A four-run third inning capped by Austin Saeva’s two-run single and solid pitching from Kyler Lacarte and Kenny Saunders powered the Le Roy Oatkan Knights to a 5-3 victory over Batavia in a Class B regional qualifying high school game tonight at Dwyer Stadium.

The victory – played before a crowd estimated at 1,100 -- avenges an 8-0 defeat at the hands of the Blue Devils in the title game of the Batavia Rotary Tournament last month and, more importantly, propels the Knights into regional competition on Saturday against Section 6 Class B champion Medina.

Saturday’s game will be played at Lockport High School and is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Le Roy put runners in scoring position against Batavia starter Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the first two innings but failed to score while Batavia had two on and one out in the second but was unable to cash in as well.

The Knights broke through in the third, however, scoring four times on a pair of hits with two walks and two hit batsmen sandwiched in between.

Shortstop Giovanni Caccamise led off with a single and advanced on a stolen base and passed ball before first baseman Reece Tresco was hit by an Iburi-Bethel pitch. After designated hitter Tim McMullen was intentionally walked to load the bases, Batavia Coach Rick Saunders pulled Iburi-Bethel, moving second baseman Alex Hale to the mound.

Kenny Saunders worked a walk after fouling off three straight 3-2 pitches and Caccamise pranced home with the first run. Hale then hit Tommy Saunders with a pitch to load the bases again and a wild pitch made it 2-0 in Le Roy’s favor.

That was it for Hale and center fielder Andrew Francis came in to pitch. Saeva greeted Francis with a hard shot between third and short, past the drawn-in infield, and the Knights had a 4-0 lead.

Francis then struck out the next two batters and held Le Roy in check until a two-out triple to the gap in right-center by Tresco (who went 2-for-4) plated Tyler Slaven to give the Knights a 5-2 edge.

The Blue Devils scored a run in the bottom of the third as Francis singled, moved to second on an error and scored on Sam Sallome’s sharp single. Lacarte regrouped, however, to retire the next three batters.

Batavia had an excellent chance to cut into the lead in the fourth as Hale singled and advanced on Josh Weis’ infield hit. Francis then hit into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners, before Trevor Zewan drew a walk to load the bases.

Lacarte escaped the jam by retiring what would be the last batter he faced, Sallome, on a first pitch foul pop to Tresco.

Kenny Saunders took the mound for Le Roy in the fifth and, after getting the first batter, gave up an infield hit to Iburi-Bethel, who went to second on an errant throw on the play. He was on third when, with two outs, Hale drilled an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, Batavia got one-out hits from Francis and Zewan, with another Le Roy error – the Knights’ fourth of the game – putting runners at first and third. Sallome then hit a fly ball to center, scoring Francis, but Zewan was called out for failing to retouch second base on his way back to first after the ball was caught.

Francis set the Knights down in order in the seventh, setting the stage for an exciting finish, despite Batavia’s first two batters going down by a fly out and strike out.

Kenny Saunders had been mixing his fastball and change-up effectively, but lost his control as he walked Jake Humes and Hale.

Pinch-runner Zach Anderson and Hale then executed a double-steal on a 1-1 count to pinch-hitter Nate Ryan. With the tying run at second, Ryan fouled back a 2-2 pitch before popping one up near the third base line. Pitcher Saunders ran over, caught the ball with just the glove hand and then threw the ball and mitt in the air, touching off the victory celebration for the LeRoyans and their fans.

Le Roy improves to 17-4 while Batavia, which outhit the Knights, 9-6, and committed just one error, ends its first-ever Section 5 championship season under Coach Saunders at 14-8.

Story by Mike Pettinella.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.







June 4, 2019 - 12:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, Batavia Downs, harness racing.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Batavia -- Horsemen wishing to race at Batavia Downs for the upcoming 2019 Championship summer/fall meet should take note that stall applications are now available on the track's website (www.bataviadownsgaming.com).

Simply click Live Racing>Horsemen>Stall Application and Agreement and also Stall Reservations links to download. The complete 2019 racing schedule can also be found at Live Racing>Live Racing Schedule.

Stall applications are also available at the Western New York Harness Horseman’s Association (WNYHHA) office located on-site at Buffalo Raceway.

Racing Secretary Joe Zambito has stated that stall applications must be received by the track no later than Friday (July 5). The backstretch opens for tack on Thursday (July 18) at 8 a.m. and horses may begin arriving on Saturday (July 20) at 8 a.m.

There is much anticipation and excitement surrounding the upcoming Batavia Downs season with the $1.8 million New York Sire Stakes Night of Champions scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 14) and another purse increase in place for opening night. 

Open I events on both gaits (with a minimum of six starters) will compete for $12,500, Open II for $11,000 and Open III for $10,000. 

Claiming races at all levels will also be raised. For example, a $25,000 claimer will go for a $10,500 purse, a $10,000 claimer will go for $8,500 and a $5,000 claimer will go for $5,700.

The first draw will be held on Friday (July 19) for Wednesday (July 24) which is the first New York Sire Stake engagement of the year at the Downs.

Batavia Downs will also offer its new text messaging service for notices about draws, entries and changes to the racing schedule. Horsemen are encouraged to text the word “HORSEMAN” to 51660. You will then need to reply “YES” and you’ll be opted in for race office text message updates.

The 73rd season of live harness racing at America’s oldest lighted harness track features 65 race dates including eight matinee cards. The meet opens on Wednesday (July 24) and runs through Saturday (Dec. 14).

Live racing will be presented on Sunday afternoons at 1:15 p.m. (through August), Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday evenings at 6 p.m. There will also be racing on four Mondays during the meet including July 29 (5 p.m.) and Aug. 5 (5 p.m.), Labor Day Sept.2 (1:15 p.m.) and Columbus Day Oct. 14 (1:15 p.m.). There is also a special 3:15 p.m. post on Saturday (Nov.2) which is Breeders Cup Day.

All stable inquiries should be directed to Todd Haight, director/GM of Live Racing at 585-343-3750, ext. 6322.

June 3, 2019 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Le Roy, baseball, sports, le roy hs.

Le Roy beat Wellsville 7-1 on Sunday to win the Class B2 Section V Championship.

Video and photo by Tim McArdle.


June 3, 2019 - 2:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, sports, pembroke, Dragons, 10U baseball.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Pembroke Dragons 10U baseball team/Cal Ripkin Division won the Abbott Memorial Championship in Perry on Sunday.

The team was one of 15 teams invited to play in the two-day tournament, playing five games total.

Over the two-day tournament, the team scored a total of 50 runs, only allowing five against.

They defeated Letchworth in the semi-final game 7-1, and then defeated Nunda in the championship game 9-0.

Pitchers PJ Reeves, Zachary Hartz and Brayden Lang helped keep the runs to only five scored against the Dragons.

Home runs by Madden Perry and PJ Reeves, bit hits by Austin Post, Jacob DiPalma, along with great fielding by Ryan Zika, Owen Schultz, Leo Lang and the rest of the Dragons helped seal the deal to bring the championship home.

June 1, 2019 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, Batavia HS.


The Batavia Blue Devils beat Geneva 9-0 behind an Alex Hale one-hitter at Wayland-Cohocton today to win the school's first sectional title in baseball since 1998.

Submitted photo.

May 30, 2019 - 10:33am
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, sports, Bowling, Genesee Region USBC.


Four people were inducted into the Genesee Region United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame earlier this month at a ceremony held at Batavia Downs.

Three recipients are in the photo above, from left, Robert Hughson, of Medina, Achievement; Al Vlietstra, of Warsaw, Veterans Achievement; and James Foss, of Medina, Achievement. Eunice Englert, of Nunda, also was enshrined for Meritorious Service to the sport of bowling.

Photo by Mike Pettinella.

May 25, 2019 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, retrievers, outdoors, sports.


Video Sponsor


Jim Beverly, a hunting retriever trainer from Oakfield, hosted his second annual Companion Retriever Hunting Challenge at Godfrey's Pond in Byron on Saturday. The challenge is primarily for retrieving-trained dogs who are more often pets than hunting companions.

May 24, 2019 - 5:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Tri-County Youth Flag Football, news, sports.

For the second year, Tri-County Youth Flag Football is offering boys and girls ages 5 to 14 the chance to play NFL-Flag Non-Contact Football.

Games are 5 on 5, fun and filled with a ton of action. Everyone will get to play and learn good sportsmanship and teamwork. Players can sharpen their football skills and learn new ones.

Practices will be one hour on Wednesday nights, with games of two 15-minute halves played on Sunday morning.

Register as an individual or with a friend.

Volunteer parents are requested for youth ages.

Teams consist of five to eight co-ed players. Age groups are: 5 to 7 / 8 & 9 / 10 &11 / 12 to 14.

You must register in person. Cost is $65.

Registration will be at T.F. Brown's restaurant in Batavia (214 E. Main St.) on the dates and times below:

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- May 25 AND June 1
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. -- June 22 AND June 29

For questions and more information, please contact Otis Thomas at (585) 993-0244 or Kevin Rogers at (716) 860-4551.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button