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June 1, 2022 - 4:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama, Notre Dame.

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Oakfield-Alabama was able to hold off Notre Dame in an 8-7 battle to win the Class C Section V title in baseball on Tuesday.

Bodie Hyde was 2-3 with a walk and two runs scored for the Hornets. David Schnaufer knocked in three runs on one hit and Brayden Smith scored twice while collecting one hit and one walk.

For Notre Dame, Bryceton Berry was 3-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Gavin Schrader had two hits and scored three times. Cody Henry was 2-3 with two RBIs. 

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more photos, click here.

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June 1, 2022 - 9:23am
posted by Steve Ognibene in baseball, Batavia HS, sports.

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The Batavia Blue Devils played last evening against the #1 seed in Class B1 Palmayra Macedeon but came up short 6-1 at the end. 

Batavia jumped to an early 1-0 lead off a solo homerun by Cole Grazioplene in the first inning.  Pal-Mac scored two runs in the same inning and jumped out to a bigger lead after the third.

Batavia had difficulty hitting versus the Red Raiders top pitcher but stood strong effort the entire game.

The photo above is Batavia senior Vincent Grazioplene looking on the final out of his high school career.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase prints, click here.

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May 29, 2022 - 11:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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Brayden Smith's five RBIs and home run keyed Oakfield-Alabama's semi-final Section V playoff win over Warsaw on Saturday, helping the Hornets to a 16-8 win.

Smith had four hits and scored twice.

Bodie Hyde had three hits, an RBI and scored three times. Cooper Colantino had two hits, an RBI and scored twice. David Schnaufer was 2-2 with two walks and scored twice. 

The winning pitcher was Kyle porter. He gave up three hits, three runs and struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings.

Notre Dame and O-A will play for the sectional crown in Class C on Tuesday.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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May 25, 2022 - 10:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama.

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The Hornets went into their Class C sectional quarterfinals game against Cuba-Rushford today with their hitting shoes on.

The final score in their favor was 21-1.

Oakfield-Alabama knocked out 19 hits in the lopsided victory.

Aiden Warner had four hits and scored three times. Brayden Smith knocked in five runs on three hits and scored three times.  Kyle Porter also collected three hits along wth two RBIs and two runs scored.

Notching two hits each were Bodie Hyde, Cooper Colantonio, Gaige Armbrewster, and David Schnaufer.

Porter picked up the win.  He threw for 3 1/3 innings giving up one unearned run, no hits, walking four and striking out eight.

O-A plays Warsaw next.

In other sectional baseball games:

  • Norte Dame beat York 4-0 to advance in Class C.
  • Alexander lost to Letchworth 6-1 in Class C.
  • Batavia beat Geneva 16-2 in Class B.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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May 15, 2022 - 10:51pm

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The Blue Devils jumped to an early lead; Notre Dame came charging back but could never pull ahead, leading to a 10-9 victory and the 2022 Rotary Tournament trophy at Dwyer Stadium on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish were down 8-0 after 2 1/2 frames, then scored two runs in the third, five in the fourth (after Batavia tacked on two more in each of their half of the middle innings to reach 10 runs), one in the fifth, and one in the seventh.

Vincent Graziolplene and Mekhi Fortes each picked up two hits for Batavia. Graziolplene also had two RBIs as did Dan Dombrowski.  Cole Grazioplene scored three runs and Fortes scored twice.

Jesse Reinhart tossed 3 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and seven runs (four earned) and striking out five to pick up the win. 

For Notre Dame, Jay Antinore had three hits and scored twice. Vincent DiRisio was 1-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Gavin Schrader scored two runs and had a hit.  Ryan Fitzpatrick scored twice.

Fitzpatrick was the starting pitcher for Notre Dame and took the loss, giving up four hits and seven runs (three earned). 

Photos by Pete Welker

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Vince Grazioplene was selected tournament MVP.

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May 14, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Press Release in baseball, sports, Batavia Rotary Club.

Press release:

The Annual Batavia Rotary Club High School Tournament will take place today at Dwyer Stadium.

Le Roy will play Notre Dame in the first game at 10 a.m., followed by Attica vs. Batavia at 1 p.m. The consolation game is scheduled for 4 p.m. with the championship game played under the lights starting at 7 p.m.

Admission is $5 for an adult all-day pass and $3 for a student or senior all-day pass.  All proceeds from the tournament will help benefit Batavia Rotary Club charities.

May 12, 2022 - 10:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, baseball, sports.

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Oakfield-Alabama (10-2) beat Webber High School on Wednesday, 8-3.

Colton Yasses pitched 6 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out 12, to pick up the win.

He also had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run.

Kyle Porter had two hits in two ABs and a walk, also scoring once and driving in a run.

Brayden Smith was 2-3 and scored twice.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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May 12, 2022 - 8:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, batavia, baseball, sports.

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It would be nice to say, "come rain or shine" there will be baseball at Dwyer Stadium this weekend.

But Batavia Rotary Club's annual baseball tournament has never had that luxury. If there's rain on Saturday, there is no tournament.

The inaugural tournament was in 1999, and on the intervening 23 years, there have been 18 tournaments played.  Three years were lost to rain and two to COVID.

"The reason the rain-out happens is that it's so late in the season for these teams, and they have sectionals, and they have to qualify to have enough games in for sectionals, so it's been almost impossible to have a rain date for the tournament," said Tom Turnbull, tournament organizer of Rotary since 2004. "So if it doesn't get played on Saturday, chances are it won't be played at all."

The good news is, there is only a chance of scattered rain on Saturday.  Turnbull expects all four games scheduled that day to be played.

The first game is at 10 a.m. and pits Le Roy (9-4) against Notre Dame (11-0).  At 1 p.m., Attica (7-4) takes on Batavia (8-6). The consolation game is at 4 p.m. and the championship game is 7 p.m.

"The teams that are playing are all very good teams," said Notre Dame Coach Rick Rapone. "They've all got very good records. They all play baseball the right way and the way you're supposed to play. And most importantly, it's good to just be back doing it. The two years with COVID had been very, very, very tough on the boys."

All four coaches told Rotary members on Wednesday that their players were excited about the tournament. 

"It's exciting to play at the Dwyer facility to play against the teams that are there," said Attica Coach Shawn Fromwiller. "Good competition only gets you better. It only gets us ready for sectionals playing against the teams that are in a tournament. I know the guys are excited about it. They've been asking, 'what time are we playing? And who are we playing?'"

Le Roy's head coach, Leon Koukides, thinks so highly of the tournament that he wrote a letter to Rotary asking that his team be invited this year.

"I really wanted to be a part of this," Koukides said. "We've not been able to be a part of it for many years, and I just wanted to give my athletes an opportunity to be in this forum, to play at Dwyer Stadium and get recognized by some of the other community members."

James Patric played in the first two tournament games in 1999 and 2000 as a member of The Batavia Squad.  Now he's the team's head coach, and between coaching in Oakfield and in Batavia, he's been a part of the tournament every year except 2001, 02, 03, and 04.

"It's a great tournament, great competition," he said. "It's always exciting."

Top Photo: Ty Strollo, Le Roy, Jesse Reinhart, Batavia, Gavin Schrader, Notre Dame, and Dan Bialek, Batavia.

Photos by Howard Owens

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All of the seniors from the four teams that attended the Rotary meeting.

 

May 8, 2022 - 7:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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Oakfield-Alabama beat Royalton on Saturday 15-8.

Colton Yasses went 4-5, driving in four runs and scoring twice.  Bodie Hyde was 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored.  Kyle Porter had two hits in five ABs and scored twice.  Brenden Westcott collected three hits in five ABs and drove in four runs.

Porter was the winning pitcher, going 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and seven runs, but only three were earned. He struck out 8.  Yasses finished out the game with an inning and two-thirds work giving up three hits and an unearned run.  He K'd two.

In other baseball action: Elba Lancers lose to Northstar, 10-3

Photos by Kristin Smith.

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May 8, 2022 - 3:37am
posted by Press Release in baseball, sports, elba.

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Press release:

Northstar Christian Academy downed Elba 10-3 in varsity baseball action Saturday at the Field of Dreams in Alexander.

Tim Leary collected the victory on the mound for Northstar, striking out eight while allowing six hits.

The Knights were led by Dominic Kurmis with three hits, including an RBI double and AJ Mitchell added a team-high four RBI on two hits.

The Lancers stayed in it for six innings behind strong pitching by Caden Muehlig. Muehlig went the distance for Elba, allowing four runs over the last six innings, striking out eight.

Jayden Allport led Elba with two hits and an RBI, while Lucas Walls smacked an RBI double. Hunter Gaylord, Connor Scott and Jake Engle also added hits for Elba.

In the second game of the day for Elba, the Lancers fell to Byron-Bergen 6-2.

Carter Prinzi and Brody Baubie led Byron-Bergen at the plate with two hits apiece. Braeden Chambry also singled for the Bees.

Baubie and David Brumsted combined to strikeout nine with Brumsted earning the win.

Elba got six strong innings on the mound from Scott, as the junior hurler struck out 11. Tyler Kauffman, Gaylord and Walls had hits for the Lancers.

April 30, 2022 - 6:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, baseball, oakfield-alabama, byron-bergen.

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Colton Yasses tossed a five-inning no-hitter today to help lead Oakfield-Alabama to a 13-0 victory.

He struck out 14 of the 15 batters he faced. 

Yasses was also 2-4 at the plate, scoring two runs.

Kaden Cusmano also had two hits. He also knocked in three runs and scored a run. 

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here.

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April 30, 2022 - 12:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in oakfield-alabama, sports, baseball.

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The Oakfield-Alabama Hornets shut out Attica in baseball on Thursday for a 6-0 victory.

The Hornets notched 14 hits with catcher Aiden Warner going for 4-4. Colton Yasses was 2-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Bodie Hyde also had two hits.

Hyde tossed a complete game (seven innings) shutout, striking out 13 batters and giving up only two hits. He walked to batters.

Photos by Kristin Smith.  For more, click here.

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April 24, 2022 - 4:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in little league, Le Roy, sports, baseball.

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Le Roy Little League opened its 70th season on Saturday.

Board President Jeremy Warner said Le Roy is the last league in GLOW still affiliated with Little League based in Williamsport, Pa.

Photos by Ed Henry.

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April 23, 2022 - 6:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, oakfield-alabama, Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame beat Oakfield-Alabama in high school baseball at Dwyer Stadium today, 8-4.

The winning pitcher was Ryan Fitzpatrick, who worked all seven innings giving up five hits and one earned run while striking out 11.

For the Irish, Colin McCulley, Gavin Schrader, and Fitzpatrick all had two hits each and Fitzpatrick knocked in three runs while scoring twice.

For the Hornets, Bodie Hyde and Gaige Armbrewster each had two hits.  Hyde drove in four runs. He was also the starting pitcher and took the loss.

Photos by Kristin Smith. For more, click here,

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April 23, 2022 - 4:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in little league, Le Roy, sports, baseball.

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Little League opening day in Le Roy commenced with a parade for players and coaches down Main Street.

We'll have more coverage of opening day later.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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April 1, 2022 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, batavia, muckdogs, baseball.
Video Sponsor
March 24, 2022 - 8:50pm

Press release:

In a unanimous decision by the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL) Board of Directors, the 16 member teams will now have the ability to sign graduating college seniors that do not have remaining college eligibility.  The PGCBL will provide a platform for the most talented, graduating collegiate seniors, to improve their Major League Baseball (MLB) draft status by offering additional opportunities to be seen by scouts and compete against the highest level of competition.

Additionally, any other current collegiate player that will be exhausting their remaining college eligibility will be considered for roster inclusion.  This provision will address any eligibility anomalies that were created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As always, the PGCBL will continue to strive to serve as a showcase league for current top draft-eligible prospects leading up to each summer's MLB draft, as well as future top tier prospects not currently eligible to be drafted.

The MLB draft has historically taken place in early June but was held in mid-July for the first time in 2021.  The 2022 draft will take place from July 17th-19th and feature 20 rounds of picks.  Until a Covid-19 modified draft in 2020, the MLB draft had historically featured 40 rounds.  With the draft now scheduled later in the year and featuring fewer rounds, the PGCBL felt it was important to provide additional opportunities to those exhausting their collegiate eligibility. 

"We're excited to announce the inclusion of all players who have just exhausted their college eligibility," said PGCBL President & General Counsel, Robert Julian.  "We hope to provide as many opportunities as possible to those players looking to increase their draft prospectus.  With the reduction in draft rounds and the later draft date, we felt this was an important opportunity to provide for affected players." 

The PGCBL will begin league-wide play for the 2022 season on Friday, June 3rd.

March 8, 2022 - 9:47pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in muckdogs, baseball, sports, Chamber Awards.

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The Batavia Muckdogs’ selection as the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce “Entrepreneurial Business of the Year” is the icing on the cake, says team owner Robbie Nichols, who was the catalyst and driving force behind the rejuvenation of summer baseball at Dwyer Stadium in 2021.

Speaking on behalf of co-owner and wife, Nellie; son-in-law/general manager Marc Witt, and his staff, Nichols said he is “really thrilled that the county recognized our hard work and hard effort that we put into this season.”

“And we are just thrilled with the season -- the way the sponsors, the season ticket holders, and all the fans took to us – and we’re so extremely pleased with the way the year turned out. Getting an honor like this is just the cherry on top.”

It was January 2021 when Nichols, a longtime professional hockey player in the American Hockey League and hockey/baseball owner in Elmira, approached the Batavia City Council with the idea of fielding a team in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Negotiations between the two entities were fruitful, and baseball was back in Batavia after a one-year hiatus.

Attendance increased significantly from 2019 – Nichols said the per-game average exceeded 1,700 with more than 500 season tickets sold. Fans enjoyed the numerous promotions, which included the KMS dance crew, kids running the bases, and in-game host “Kin Dog" (Batavian John Kindig).

Outside of baseball, Nichols attracted dance competitions and clinics, PRIDE Festival, Challenger Baseball, GLOW Academy Youth Baseball and Battle of Badges, high school baseball, Alzheimer’s Walk, Muckdogs Monster Mash, among other events, to the stadium at the intersection of Bank and Denio streets.

Furthermore, the Muckdogs’ players always were available for community appearances and marched in the City’s Memorial Day Parade.

Nichols said he appreciates the way the fans responded to the team.

“It was just a fun season,” he said, “and it’s even crazier as we approach this season. Games already are close to being sold out for next year (2022). We’ll do even better this year. That’s what we're so excited about.”

When it was mentioned that the word “entrepreneurial” was in the title of the Chamber award, Nichols acknowledged that it fits him to a T.

“I think people have always said that (about me). If you look at my background, I guess that would be a pretty accurate word,” he said. “I was signed by the Detroit Red Wings and I was playing in the American Hockey League and I had a hockey card business on the side. And I made more money (with that) than I did for my NHL contract.”

He recalled that he made and sold T-shirts when his team was going to the championship game.

“People are leaving the doors and I'm out on the ice, selling T-shirts as people are walking out. We won the championship. So, I’ve always had that entrepreneur … trying to make it make a buck with a side hustle,” he said.

Nichols also mentioned “a rumor” that a show called The Flint Tropics was based on his seven years managing the Flint (Mich.) Generals.

“They said that they copied all of the crazy things that I did as far as promotions; a lot of stuff they did in that movie was stuff that I did on the ice,” he said. We will do any promotion – and we’ve got some crazy ones coming up this year.”

Although his permanent address is in Elmira, the 57-year-old Nichols said that Batavia has come his second home – literally.

“My wife and I have bought a home in Batavia now – right around the corner from the ballpark,” he said. “We’re really honored the way the City of Batavia has treated us. We can’t ask for better folks; they’re just like family.”

In his nomination of the Batavia Muckdogs for the award, lifelong Batavian Tom Turnbull said the city and county have been enriched because of Robbie and Nellie Nichols’ hard work and community spirit.

“While the Batavia Muckdogs may not seem like a new business due to the continuation of the name (from the former New York-Penn League), the new Batavia Muckdogs … are not only an incredible local business success story but have enhanced the quality of life for the residents of Genesee County,” Turnbull wrote.

Top photo: Robbie and Nellie Nichols on opening day 2021. Photo by Jim Burns.

Game photos below by Philip Casper

This is the first of four articles highlighting the 50th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. The annual dinner is Saturday at Batavia Downs, with hor d’oeuvres at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. For more information about the dinner, call the Genesee County Chamber at (585) 343-7440.

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February 11, 2022 - 11:06am
posted by Press Release in sports, baseball, muckdogs.

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Press release:

The Batavia Muckdogs and CAN-USA Sports Ownership are back for their second season in the PGCBL and are incredibly excited to announce plans for the upcoming summer!

The 2022 PGCBL schedule has been released with Opening Day in Elmira on June 3rd and the home opener at Dwyer Stadium the following night with postgame fireworks. 

In addition to playing teams in the West Divison, the Muckdogs will incorporate new opponents from the East division like the Oneonta Outlaws and Watertown Rapids. Batavia will have exhibition games with the Cortland Crush of the NYCBL and the Capital City Reds from Ottawa, Ontario. 

In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for our 2022 promotional schedule that already includes Batavia Blue Devils Night on Saturday, June 18th, and STOP DWI night on Thursday, July 14th. Be sure to check out our social media pages for more updates and call the office if you are interested in booking a night at Dwyer Stadium.

We would also like to announce the signing of eight players to the 2022 roster. Six players are returners from last season, including head coach Joe “Skip” Martinez. They include ace starting pitcher Julian Pichardo, catcher Brice Mortillaro, slugger Abner Benitez, first basemen Daniel Burroway, sidearmer AJ Winger, and dual pitcher/shortstop Trey Bacon.  

Batavia has also signed two local high school products to play this upcoming season. Gavin Schrader is an outfield/pitching prospect at Notre Dame High School who committed to play at Niagara University after his senior season. Batavia High School catcher Vincent Grazioplene will also join the Muckdogs as he prepares to play collegiately at Erie Community College.

“As an organization, we are so thankful to bring back fan favorites from a year ago. They feel like they have unfinished business the way last year ended and wanted to build off such a successful rookie season in the league,” Martinez said. “To also have a new crop of local guys this summer was important for us to do for a tight-knit community like Batavia. Gavin and Vincent will be huge additions to the roster, and I hope the fans will rally around them like how they did for Jerry Reinhart and Tyler Prospero.”

Lastly, CAN-USA Sports & Dwyer Stadium will be hosting multiple events throughout the spring and fall months. All varsity baseball games for Batavia and Notre Dame High Schools will be exclusively hosted at Dwyer Stadium. Following the PGCBL season, Dwyer will host the Western New York Alzheimer’s Association annual walk for the second year on October 1st. The Batavia Muckdogs will host another Trick or Treat day on Saturday, October 22nd. 

Dwyer will also be the host to two concerts for the first time! Margaritaville will come to Dwyer Stadium on Saturday, August 20th as a Parrothead Jimmy Buffett Cover Band will play at the stadium with live music, drinks, food, & fun!  Before the school year starts, Zac Brown Tribute Band (ZBTB) will play Dwyer Stadium as one of their end-of-summer shows on September 3rd.

The season is only a few months away, and make sure to get in on all of the action for the best season in Batavia baseball history!

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July 30, 2021 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in baseball, sports, batavia, muckdogs, notify.

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The collegiate-player version of the Batavia Muckdogs finished out its inaugural season in a way that was rare when professional ballplayers passed through town -- with a stadium full of fans excited to see a team they embraced in 2021 because the team embraced this city.

"It’s been great," said Tom Turnbull, a regular Dwyer Stadium visitor, and local community leader. "You can see the spirit, the vibe, the college kind of rah-rah that the players have and it’s carried over into the stands. People are just happy to have the Muckdogs back. It’s just been a wonderful year. They’ve been a part of the community and when you go to a concession stand and the owner is working the cash register, you know they’re invested in the city. It’s been fantastic."

For a Thursday evening, the stands were packed and there was a palatable excitement in the air.

"We’re thrilled, my wife and I pleasantly surprised," said owner Robbie Nichols during a conversation at a table where fans were bidding on player jerseys. "You can sea from the crowd tonight the support we’ve recieved. We had a short season to put it together. You’ll see next season, this place will be packed every night."

The reason for the success, Nichols noted, is the team -- not just Nichols and management staff, but coaches and players -- have gotten involved in the community over the past couple of months, in a way the pro players of the previous era never did.

Community is what is also about Nichols said.

"We always say, my wife and I are the holders of the keys but this is a community team," Nichols said. "You see people over there in line, talking, having a beer, people bringing their grandkids to the game, and that’s what it’s all about.  It’s America’s game. It’s about bringing your family to the ballpark and Batavia answered the bell and this crowd is amazing."

Community is a big reason Nichols announced before last night's game that he's offering Coach Joey Martinez and two-year extension on his contract.

"It’s community first," Nichols said. "Wins and losses are important but it’s how we are out in the community, attending events and doing things. I think our team did a great job this year and we want to continue that. That’s what I want to continue. I like working out in the community helping everybody we can especially special olympics, challenger division baseball, the parades we did, reading to people, the veterans, all the stuff we did, that’s what I’m most excited about."

The players enjoyed the year, too.  Players who have more college eligibility after this season have said they want to come back to Batavia next year.  That will go a long way building a stronger baseball organization.  Martinez only had a short time after the Muckdogs joined the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League to recruit players and few potential players knew anything about Batavia. After this season, Nichols noted, that will change. He said this year's players will go back to their schools and tell the best players on their teams, "you want to go to Batavia."

“I think the team is really going to improve next year," Nichols said.

This year, the Muckdogs finished just out of the running for a playoff spot with a final record of 22-19, one game behind Geneva for the coveted second playoff spot of the Western Division. If not for a rainout and some rescheduling confusion with Geneva, maybe the Muckdogs would have had a better shot at the playoffs, but last night's loss to Niagara wouldn't have helped matters.

Starter Julian Pichardo, who has been the ace of the staff this season, got hurt by three first inning errors and gave up a couple of solid base hits allowing Niagara to score three first-inning runs.  Pichardo battled through 3 1/3 innings giving up four hits, three runs (only one earned), and striking out two.  He finishes with a 4-2 record and a 2.46 ERA.

Abner Benitez had a big night at the plate going 3-5 and driving in five runs.  He finishes the year with a .282 BA and 27 RBIs.

"Next year going to have win early and win often (to make the playoffs)," Nichols said.

Photos by Philip Casper. Top photo: Dewey wishing there was more Muckdogs’ baseball in Batavia this year.

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Young fans at Dwyer catching some up close pregame action while the players warm up.

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Charlie Szykowny & Julian Pichardo

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Coach Jose ’Skip’ Martinez after being offered a 2-year contract extension by Robbie Nichols

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Charlie Szykowny 

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Dancing on the dugout with Dewey

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Blair Frederick charging towards first after a successful bunt

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Blair Frederick crossing home plate 

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Daniel Burroway

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Julian Pichardo thanks the fans as he walks off the field for the last time in 2021

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