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May 12, 2019 - 11:07am


Last evening, the Batavia Blue Devils advanced to the finals (following their close win to Oakfield-Alabama) between the Le Roy Oatkan Knights.  Alex Hale pitched the first five innings while Andrew Francis closed on the mound for the duo to have a complete game.

The first three innings showed no score from either team, until the bottom of the fourth as Batavia scored five runs. Sam Sallome, Trevor Zewan, Andrew Francis, Josh Weis, and Luke Grammatico each had a hit and RBI. Later on in the sixth, Luke Grammatico would score again with his second hit and RBI. Alex Hale and Jake Humes came to home plate as well.

Batavia was calm, cool, and collected throughout tonight and having continuous hits led to many runners on base, which turned into plenty of scoring opportunities. They were defensively sound. Batavia led Le Roy in hits 12-3 and one error to Le Roy’s three. Final score 8-0.

After the match, Sam Sallome was announced 2019 Rotary Tournament MVP.

Story submitted by Thomas Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos, click here.




May 11, 2019 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, batavia, rotary tournament, video.
Video Sponsor

Batavia beat Oakfield-Alabama 5-4 with a bottom-of-the-seventh bunt in an opening round game of the annual Batavia Rotary Club Tournament.

Earlier today, Le Roy beat Notre Dame 8-2.  

Batavia and Le Roy face each other at 7 p.m. in the championship game.

May 11, 2019 - 1:59pm


Today, the Le Roy Oatkan Knights took on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to kick off the 21st Annual Batavia Rotary Club High School Baseball Tournament at Dwyer Stadium.

Tim McMullen and Tommy Saunders held the mound for Le Roy, while David Russo and Spencer Misti pitched for Notre Dame.

Giavanni Caccamise, Reece Tresco, Tim McMullen, Kenny Saunders all recorded a hit and RBI, while Ryan Friend had two hits and RBIs to make it 6-1 Le Roy after two. Zachary Cocking had the lone RBI for ND in the first.

Later on in the fifth inning, Tommy Saunders and Austin Saeya came home safely and scored. It was 8-1 Le Roy after five.

Spencer Misti, David Russo, Andrew Moore, all collected hits while Alex Totton had a RBI and hit of his own in the final inning of the game.

Le Roy led ND in hits 9 to 8 and was defensively strong overall only allowing two errors. With Le Roy’s 8-2 win they will move on to the championship game at 7 o'clock tonight to face the winner of Oakfield-Alabama and Batavia.      

Story and photos by Thomas Ognibene.

To view or purchase photos click here.






May 9, 2019 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in pembroke, sports, baseball.


It was a perfect day for the Lang family in Pembroke yesterday. 

Ten-year-old Brayden Lang didn't give up a hit or and walked only one batter in four innings of work to record his first perfect game on Cal Ripken League team coached by his father Dan Lang.

Brayden wears number 46, just like his great-grandfather, Harry Pilarski, when he was a minor league pitcher in the Red Sox organization in the 1940s.

"He pitched a perfect game," Dan said. "His number is 46. He threw 46 pitches. His grandfather wore number 46. It all kind of chimed together for me after the game."

Yes, Dan is a proud father but the most meaningful moment came when Brayden told him, "Papa Harry would have been proud."

"That means more to me than anything," Dan said. "That he's thinking about the history."

After that, dad said he took his coach's hat off for a second and gave his son a hug.

"He pulled away from me and I said, 'what, you can't hug your dad in front of your friends?' " Dan said. "He said, 'no, your pencil behind your ear is poking me in my cheek.' "

Pilarski began his professional baseball career after World War II, pitching for Oneonta in 1946, Lynn in 1947, and Roanoke in 1948, posting records of 13-13 with an ERA of 2.97, 14-9 and 3.98, and 7-8 and 3.22.

He didn't play in 1948 and in 1950 he joined an independent team, Kingston in the Border League, and posted a record of 19-6 with a 2.81 ERA. He played for two separate Border League teams in 1951 before retiring from baseball. Overall, his career record was 65-45 with an ERA of 3.29.

He served in the 11th Airborne. Dan Lang said he was in the raid of Los Banos as a paratrooper and he was part of the rescue of P.O.W’s there. He played baseball while in service, then was recruited after his honorable discharge.

Brayden's game last night was called after four innings because his team was up 15-0. In his previous start this year, he gave up only one hit, struck out 12, in another 15-0 four-inning game.

CORRECTION: The first person who contacted us about this game said it was a perfect game. After the story was first published, we learned Brayden did walk a batter.

Submitted photos.





May 8, 2019 - 4:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, Team New Era, sports.

Team New Era Baseball will hold tryouts for its fall elite travel baseball program for players ages 9 through 17 on Friday May 17th and Tuesday May 28th at our Depew facility, 3950 Broadway.

For more information or to register for a tryout, visitwww.teamnewerabaseball.com.

For additional questions, contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001 or [email protected].

May 8, 2019 - 4:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia.


The forecast for Saturday currently looks like good baseball weather, which is a good thing, because the Rotary Club of Batavia will host its annual baseball tournament at Dwyer Stadium.

The first game, Le Roy vs. Notre Dame, starts at 10 a.m., followed by Oakfield-Alabama at 1 p.m.

The championship game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

February 26, 2019 - 2:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Muckdogs, baseball, sports, news.

Press release:

TicketReturn announced today that it will become the exclusive ticketing provider for the Batavia Muckdogs professional baseball team.

The club’s box office will be able to take advantage of TicketReturn’s strategic partnerships and dedicated client support representatives to best serve fans across Genessee County.

TicketReturn, a leading provider of box office, online and mobile ticketing services, offers nearly two decades of technology management experience to help clients across the country exceed their goals.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company offers a full suite of ticketing innovations, including event marketing, access control, attendance reporting, accounting and fundraising features for sports and entertainment venues.

The Muckdogs will benefit from TicketReturn’s strategic partnership with Groupmatics, which offers a streamlined process for the sale and distribution of group tickets. The club will also be able to add its own color palettes and logos on TicketReturn’s enhanced mobile design for customer transactions.

Batavia can now offer non-ticket inventory items during the online transaction. TicketReturn has shown a proven ability to deliver incremental revenue for its ticketing partners.

The Muckdogs will be able to offer fans a variety of ticket packages, including season tickets and mini-plans.

“We’re looking forward to working closely with Batavia’s box office team as they prepare for the season.” said Christie Hussey, TicketReturn’s vice president of Sales and Marketing.

“We pride ourselves on offering client support representatives that are available to provide support and fast onboarding as the Muckdogs prepare for the new season.”

The Batavia Muckdogs competes in the New York-Penn League as the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins.

This partnership furthers TicketReturn’s commitment to provide ticketing solutions and services to professional sports teams, colleges and universities throughout the country.

About TicketReturn  

TicketReturn is a leading provider of box office and online ticketing services serving more than 250 client venues and issuing more than 38 million tickets annually. As the leading provider of ticketing services for Minor League Baseball (MiLB) in the United States and Canada, TicketReturn also serves minor league hockey teams, soccer, basketball and lacrosse. TicketReturn’s diverse client venues range from theater and casino showrooms, motorsports, horse racing, university arenas and sports stadiums reflecting the ease of use and scalability of the platform.

For more information about TicketReturn, visit us at www.ticketreturn.com

February 14, 2019 - 8:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports, baseball.


Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and Miami Marlins have announced that Jorge Hernandez has been named Manager of the Muckdogs for the 2019 season. The move comes after the promotion of Mike Jacobs to the Marlins Low-A affiliate in Clinton, Iowa after two seasons in Batavia.

Hernandez is entering his 13th year with the Marlins organization after spending the past five as Infield Coordinator. 2019 marks his fifth season managing within the Marlins system after spending four seasons as manager of the Gulf Coast Marlins and one as manager of the Single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers. Hernandez spent the 2008 season as the hitting coach in Greensboro and 2007 season as hitting coach for the Gulf Coast League Marlins. He began coaching professionally in 2004 as hitting coach with the Pensacola Pelicans.

Hernandez began coaching in 1993 as the hitting coach for the University of Mobile. From there he spent two seasons at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. In 2003, he was the hitting coach at the University of West Florida. Hernandez is a former ninth-round pick of the Houston Astros in 1986, but did not sign. He earned All-Conference honors at Troy State University and was a member of the Trojans team that won the 1987 Division II World Series. In addition, he was a member of the 1984 American Legion World Series championship squad.

Hernandez and his wife, Hilma, reside in Frisco, Texas. The couple has a daughter, Haley, and a son, Eric.

Hernandez is joined by three new additions to the Muckdogs coaching staff for the 2019 season. 

Mike Jacobs, the Muckdogs' manager the past two seasons, has been promoted and will manage the Class A Clinton LumberKings in 2019.

January 7, 2019 - 5:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, sports, Team New Era.

Team New Era will hold tryouts for its 8U and 9U Rookie Program Saturday Jan.12th and 19th at 1 p.m. at its Depew Facility. For more information or to register see www.teamnewerabaseball.com or contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

December 26, 2018 - 4:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in baseball, Team New Era, sports.

Press release:

Team New Era will hold tryouts for its 8U and 9U Rookie Program Jan. 12th and 19th at 1 p.m. at its Depew Facility. For more information or to register see www.teamnewerabaseball.com or contact Rich Wozniak at 716-681-3001.

December 12, 2018 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, GCC, baseball, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan. 20.

GCC Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to seven players per coach.

Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning.

Space is limited. Registration is now underway.

For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

November 28, 2018 - 3:40pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, GCC, baseball, baseball camp, U.S. Baseball Academy.

Genesee Community College is hosting a four-week baseball camp starting Jan. 20.

GCC Head Coach Skip Sherman will direct the program in conjunction with U.S. Baseball Academy.

Classes are available for players in grades 1-12 and are limited to seven players per coach. Sessions are offered in advanced hitting, pitching, catching, fielding and baserunning. Space is limited.

Registration is now underway. For more information, visit www.USBaseballAcademy.com, or call toll-free 866-622-4487.

September 25, 2018 - 10:25am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.

Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and Miami Marlins have announced a two-year extension to their Player Development Contract (PDC). The previous agreement expired following the 2018 season. With this affiliation extension, Miami Marlins Prospects will continue their development in Batavia through the 2020 season.

“After an improved season on the field, we are excited for the future of the Miami Marlins and are looking forward to continuing our relationship with the extension of our Player Development Contract for the next two seasons,” said Batavia’s Dave Chase. “As we continue our affiliation with the Marlins, we’re focused on further enhancing the ballpark and creating a first-class experience for Marlins prospects and our loyal fans." 

The Miami Marlins and Batavia Muckdogs original affiliation agreement began in the 2013 season. In the six seasons since arriving in Batavia, there have been 12 former Muckdogs to make their Major League debut.

“This extension allows our future Major Leaguers to continue their development in Batavia against top-level competition in the New York-Penn League,” said Miami Marlins Director of Player Development Dick Scott.

September 8, 2018 - 9:11am
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs, batavia, notify.

Pawtucket, R.I., doesn't look like a good bet for a future home of the Batavia Muckdogs franchise according to a report in the Providence Journal.

A PawSox spokesperson said Thursday the organization has no current plans to acquire any other baseball franchises and move them to the city as a sort of parting gift. Franchise Chairman Larry Lucchino and President Charles Steinberg are focused on building a 10,000-seat stadium in Worcester’s Canal District and redeveloping the surrounding area. 

The Pawtucket mayor's office also told the Journal that no ownership group has contacted the city about using McCoy Stadium once it's vacant in 2021.

And if another owner wanted to bring a team into McCoy, they would face substantial renovation costs for the aging complex.

The cracking concrete and widespread leaking ceilings and floors are among the issues faced by any tenants, as the stadium wrapped up its 77th season of baseball earlier this week. Renovation costs would run into the millions of dollars, and the day-to-day costs of maintaining the playing surface and surrounding grounds run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

As previously reported by The Batavian, there would also be territorial agreements to overcome in Pawtucket, which is Red Sox territory. The Red Sox currently have an affiliate to Lowell and if the Muckdogs moved to Pawtucket, Lowell would have to move, putting the New York-Penn League in the same bind it has with Batavia -- where to locate the team that doesn't run afoul of territory restrictions and has a baseball-ready facility.

September 6, 2018 - 6:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, news, batavia, muckdogs.

It still remains likely that the Muckdogs will be back in Batavia for the 2019 season but General Manager Dave Chase said today he won't be back.

"It was a one-year deal," Chase said. "I finished that year. Ben and I have talked about me continuing as a consultant for some period of time but I don’t think I’ll be here next season."

Chase has lived at the Quality Inn & Suites this summer but at one point thought about renting an apartment downtown with the idea of staying longer but decided against it.

"I will admit I go back and forth," Chase said. "There are parts of Batavia that I really like but I did it for a year and that’s what I wanted to do and it was a difficult year, professionally and personally."

Chase said he has had medical issues doing the year that made things more difficult.

"The reality is this is my third city in four years," Chase said. "I’ve sort of developed a reputation of going into troubled markets and none of them have failed yet so I might have one or two more years of that lifestyle left in me."

He thinks he will leave Batavia in good shape but the day the Muckdogs leave Batavia is still close at hand. It gives the team two or three more years before moving.

"That's still better than it was a year ago," he said.

At the start of the season, associates of one of baseball's top executives, Larry Lucchino, former president and CEO of the Boston Red Sox and co-owner of the AAA team in Pawtucket, inquired about the Batavia franchise, Chase said.

The scenario discussed at that time involved the Muckdogs either moving to Pawtucket or Worcester. 

There have been no further discussions since but it's been announced that the Pawtucket franchise will move to Worcester, where a new stadium is being built.

The problem with any such move is that the Red Sox have territorial rights over the area and currently, the NYPL team in that market is Lowell, a Red Sox affiliate. For the Muckdogs to move to Pawtucket, the team would need to become the NYPL Red Sox affiliate and the Lowell franchise would have to move to another city.

One reason the Muckdogs haven't moved yet is there appears to be no city in the Northeast that has the facility and market availability to accommodate a short season Class A team, so if Lowell had to move the league would face the same difficulty in trying to relocate that team.

The earliest, apparently, any of this can happen, is 2021.

Meanwhile, the affiliate agreement between Batavia (which has not gone bankrupt, contrary to a story in the Lowell Sun), and the Marlins is up for renewal. The renewal is expected to take place by the end of the month. The length of any such agreement could complicate a move by Batavia to New England.

Chase is confident the Marlins will return to Batavia in 2019. He said when the team packed up after the last game, they left a lot of equipment behind.

"That seems to indicate a desire to come back," Chase said.

September 3, 2018 - 11:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports.


On the final day of the season, the Batavia Muckdogs had a chance to play spoiler against their Thruway rivals, the Auburn Doubledays, but after falling behind 8-2 after three innings, the team couldn't crawl its way back and lost 8-5.

Starter Josh Roberson (1-1) was lifted after the second inning. He gave up four runs. Evan Estes gave up four runs in the third inning. Tyler Kolek came on and stopped the bleeding, giving up only one hit over three innings, striking out three.

The offense was led by Demetrius Sims, who was 2-4 with two doubles and two runs scored (seen in the top photo scoring in the fifth inning).

Sean Reynolds was 0-4 but finished the season as the league leader in home runs (17), RBIs (52), Runs (49) and walks (42). He's the team leader in stolen bases with 13 (also the highest success rate in the league). He is the only player in 2018 to play every inning of all 76 games. He also finishes with a batting average .193 and a new league record of 133 strikeouts.

With the win, Auburn becomes the wildcard team in the NYPL playoffs.






September 2, 2018 - 6:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.


Sean Reynolds doubled and tripled Sunday afternoon, driving in four runs, to lift the Batavia Muckdogs past the Auburn Doubledays 5-4 in the second-to-last game of the regular season at Dwyer Stadium.

Reynolds (shown swatting his triple in the third inning, second photo) now has 52 RBIs on the season to lead the league. He also struck out twice, extending his record-breaking K total to 131 (the previous NYPL record was 117 set in 1982 (previous story)).

Bryce Howe started and tossed the first four frames, giving up two runs and striking out seven. The win went to Elkin Alcala (4-2). Jameson McGrane got his third save despite giving up two runs in the ninth.

Davis Bradshaw, an 11th-round pick from Missouri, who has been batting leadoff and hitting .333 since joining the team three weeks ago, had two hits and scored a run.

The Muckdogs close out the season tomorrow with a Labor Day game that starts at 1:05 p.m.

Top Photo: Bradshaw singles safe after trying to score from third on a groundball to short. Home plate umpire Roberto Pattison disagreed with Bradshaw's assessment of the play, ruling that Doubledays catcher Wilmer Perez applied the tag in time.



Bryce Howe


Bradshaw in the first inning stroked a ground ball down the third base line for a double.



Ronal Reynoso with a sacrifice bunt.


Bubba Hollins


Reynolds at first.



August 29, 2018 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, muckdogs, sports, notify.


Right now, it looks like there will be professional baseball in Batavia in 2019, according to General Manager Dave Chase.

As the team heads into its final week of the 2018 season (barring a playoff appearance), Chase said last night that he's pretty confident the team will be back -- he gave it a 90 to 95 percent chance -- and he said he's getting good signals from league officials.

“We do have a draft of the 2019 schedule and we’re on it, so I’ll take that as a sign we’re playing," Chase said.

The NYPL took over ownership of the Muckdogs early in 2018 and hired Chase, with decades of experience in Minor League baseball, to run the team. He promised to improve on-field playing conditions and in-stands fan experience. He thinks both goals were achieved.

"The team has played much better," Chase said. "We don’t win a lot at home but we’re usually in it in 7th, 8th, and 9th inning and we believe if you’re not going to win them, at least be in them, and then when people go home, they’ll forget whether you won or lost, they’ll just know they had something to cheer about late in the game."

Attendance continues to be a concern but Chase said some of the attendance problems can be blamed on the late start he and the rest of the front office got on preparing for 2018. Tickets sales, including season ticket sales, started later than normal and there was no time to push group sales. While support from the local business community was very good this year, Chase said, the staff needs more time than they had in 2018 to work on obtaining sponsorships.

The biggest improvement has been on the field, especially the infield. In April, the infield was laser-leveled with the help of Batavia Turf and DuraEdge and the infield dirt was replaced with the same mixed by the Miami Marlins on their home field. Joe Mogavero took care of the field for more than the first half of the season and then Cooper Thomas finally got his visa to fly in from Australia and become the new head groundskeeper at Dwyer Stadium.

The improvements have been noticeable by players, coaches, and the front office, especially since Cooper Thomas joined the staff.

"Cooper was by far a step in the right direction," Chase said. "He has a vision. He knows what he wants. The question will be whether I can afford it but we are talking about him coming back in April.

That's well in advance of the 2019 season, but not as soon as Chase would like to get him to come back to Batavia.

"I tried to get him to come in March but he said his heart would break if he had to look at a baseball field covered in snow," Chase said.

Manager Mike Jacobs took over the team in 2017 and returned in 2018. He said the improvements on the field and off have been welcome by both him and the players.

"It’s been great, just even on the field, new dirt, finally got our regular head grounds crew guy and he’s been great, Cooper," Jacobs said. "Since he's been here, the surface has played extremely well compared to what it was last year. They’ve made improvements inside the clubhouses on both sides. There are still things to touch up but overall I can’t complain. It’s been great."

The field is also getting high marks from the players, especially those who played on it in 2017 and came back in 2018. Both Demetrius Sims and Sean Reynolds said the improvement was noticeable on the first day of the season and the field has only gotten better as the season has gone along.

"We always looked forward to playing on the road last year but with the improvements from last year to this year, it’s been a lot better with the surface and all the upgrades to the field," Sims said.

Reynolds said he's impressed with the work Thomas has done since he joined the team.

"(He) has done an unbelievable job making sure the field is in shape every night," Reynolds said. "The surface itself is 10 times better than it was last year. Last year it was like, you didn’t know if you were going to be playing on gravel or sand every night. That’s been great."

While Chase is also pretty confident the Marlins will be the Major League parent of the Muckdogs again in 2019, that decision won't be made until the middle of September or later.

Jacobs said he thinks the Marlins should come back to Batavia and neither Sims nor Reynolds expressed any reservations about the team returning.

The one thing they all want to see is more fan support.

"We don’t have the biggest crowds," Jacobs said. "I would say this year we’ve had bigger crowds then what had in the past and that’s a testament to the front office here in Batavia, whether through advertising or whatever to get fans in the stadium. You look at a night like tonight and it was pretty filled up for a Tuesday.  I know they’re trying and I would like to see us be able to come back."

Reynolds said if Batavians want to keep professional baseball in Batavia, they probably need to come to more games.

"Obviously, places like State College and Mahoning Valley, Tri-City, wherever else, they have a pretty cool set up compared to this," Reynolds said. "I think it’s just a matter of people getting out to the game. I know every year there’s kind of deal where it’s like nobody wants baseball in Batavia to leave because it’s a staple of minor league baseball but at the same time if you don’t want it to leave then, you know, you’ve got to show a little bit of support."

The fan support, he said, matters to the players. There should be more games like the July 3 match against West Virginia when Dwyer was packed.

"There was, what, 2,500 people (ed. a little over 2,300) here, I think, and that was incredible because they were all cheering and they were chanting for us to win," Reynolds said. "That’s what real baseball should feel like."

If asked by a prospect just starting out his career next year whether Batavia was a good place to play ball, Sim said he would say yes, but with a caveat.

"It depends on where you’re from," Sims said. "If you’re a big city guy, then you’ve kind of got to adapt to the area and what’s around, but it’s been more than welcoming to be back here."

Top photo: Manager Mike Jacobs in the dugout on opening night.

August 29, 2018 - 4:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports, news, Sean Reynolds.


Muckdogs Manager Mike Jacobs says Sean Reynolds, is, without a doubt, his most valuable player in 2018.

That might surprise anybody who knows that Reynold's has one of the lowest batting averages in the NY-Penn League (.192, fourth lowest of qualifying players) and has already broken the league's single-season record for most strikeouts (currently, 121, with nine games to go, breaking the previous record of 117 set in 1982).

But Reynolds also leads the league in home runs (16), RBIs, (47), Runs scored (47), base on balls (40) and leads his team in stolen bases (13). He's also the only player in the NYPL to play every inning of every game (70 so far).

"Without a doubt, he’s having a great year," Jacobs said. "It’s fun to watch. It’s fun to watch the progression of watching him continue to get better every day."

This is the second season in Batavia for the 20-year-old Southern Californian who was a fourth-round draft pick right out of Redondo Union High School for the Marlins in 2016.

The Marlins will be patient with their young power bat, Jacobs said. 

"What he can bring to the table you just can’t find that every day," Jacobs said. "I think the more he plays, the more games he plays, he will cut down on his strikeouts. I think he will put the ball in play more, and ultimately if he just does that, all those numbers are going to continue to rise."

Reynolds is well aware of his strike out record and his average but he's also pleased with his progress and believes he will continue to improve the more he plays.

"Obviously, that’s the thing going forward in my career that’s going to be the focal point, being able to put the ball in play more," Reynolds said. "Personally, I don’t see any reason why I can’t improve because it’s all about getting at-bats. This is my first full year in a sense of playing over 70 games and getting 300-plus plate appearances."

At 6'7", Reynolds invites comparisons to Dave Kingman, AKA "King Kong," who hit 442 major league home runs over 16 seasons starting in 1971. He also struck out in prodigious numbers (153 times in 1975, when he hit 36 homers for the Mets, and 138 times in 1979 when he hit 48 homers for the Cubs). He finished with .236 career average.

Whether Reynolds makes contact more often, time will tell, but he is arguably already better than Kingman in one key aspect of baseball: Defense. 

Where Kingman was atrocious in the field (career .895 fielding percentage including 3B and outfield) Reynolds is already doing better (.983) and has improved throughout the season.

"A lot of people may not realize it but he’s played outstanding first base for us," Jacobs said.

Jacobs knows a thing or two about hitting the ball hard at the major league level (100 career homers, including 32 for the Marlins in 2008) and Reynolds credits Jacobs for helping him get better.

"Jakes is a big the influence on me, him and Jesus Merchan, our hitting coach," Reynolds said. "He’s been able to help me with things I wouldn’t even think about because he’s played and been around the game for 20-plus years now. He’s been in the big leagues and able to have a lot of success in the big leagues for the time he was there. When I’m not going good, he knows what to say and how to help me out without saying too much, and then when I'm going good, it's a high five when I’m going around third base and that’s all I need."

Reynolds knows he's getting better and he's obviously playing with more confidence.

"It’s funny we should talk about this right now because this was probably my best series of the year," Reynolds said (he had five hits, three homers, six RBIs). "I was more consistently putting bat to ball and making loud outs even if I wasn’t getting on base, so that was good to feel but obviously for every success and every home run there’s been a lot of struggle."

If Reynolds were hitting .250 instead of .192, he would probably already be holding down first base in Greensboro or Jacksonville. As it is, State College last night showed enough respect for his bat that they used a defensive shift on the left-handed hitter, something you rarely if ever see in short-season Class A ball.  

He was also a member of the NYPL's 2018 All-Star Team.

"You look at where he was last year and you look at even where he was in spring training and the improvement is 10 fold," Jacobs said. "He didn’t hit one homer in spring training and he played in a lot of games down there and obviously you see the numbers he’s putting up and, really, the batting average, it is what it is. He has a lot of swing-and-miss but there’s also a lot of damage that’s in that bat."

Photos: File photos by Howard Owens.







August 29, 2018 - 2:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, muckdogs.


With six games left in the season, including three-straight day games at home, the Batavia Muckdogs are contending for a post-season playoff berth.

They could get there by making up a four-and-a-half-game deficit behind division-leading Mahoning Valley, their next opponent on the road, and three and a half behind Brooklyn in the wildcard race. Any combination of two Muckdog losses or two Mahoning Valley wins would eliminate Batavia in the division (in other words, the Muckdogs must sweep the Scrappers) and in the wild-card race, the magic number is four.

That means, the hometown team can't really afford to lose any of their final six games.

Fortunately, they're the hottest team in the NYPL right now with four straight wins and a 7-3 record over the last 10 games.

"Our fate is in our hands," said manager Mike Jacobs after last night's 8-1 win over State College, completing a three-game sweep of their division rival. "The step coming in and taking care of business these last three games like we have. If continue to play the way we’re playing, it may go down to the very last game and it’s exciting."

Last night, the Muckdogs scored early and scored often, taking a 2-0 lead by the bottom of the first and piling on six more runs in the third.

The first two runs came on a home run by third baseman Bubba Hollins, an undrafted signee of the Marlins from Orchard Park who played college ball at St. Bonaventure University. Hollins is on his second stint with the Muckdogs, after a cup of tea with the team in 2017. This was his first home run with Batavia.

With one out in the third, Hollins drew a walk, setting the table for Sean Reynolds, who whacked his league-leading 16th homer of the season over the right-field wall. 

The rest of the scoring came on walks to Albert Guaimaro and Igor Baez, a double by Ricardo Cespedes, a Luke Jarvis single, and ground out by Davis Bradshaw.

Josh Roberson, from North Carolina, worked five innings, giving up only one run and picking up his first NYPL win on a 1.80 ERA.

Big Texan Tyler Kolek (top photo and second photo) worked two scoreless innings, whiffing three, and Panamanian Humberto Mejia came on for the final two frames and also K'd at trio of Spikes.

The next home game, the final homestand of the season, is Saturday at 1:05 p.m. against Auburn.



Brayan Hernandez


Luke Jarvis


Demetrius Sims


Demetrius Sims at short.


Albert Guaimaro

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