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April 1, 2022 - 1:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in live stream, batavia, muckdogs, baseball.
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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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August 18, 2021 - 8:10am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Milestones, muckdogs.

Press release:

Communications students from Canisius College, St. Bonaventure University, Syracuse University and the University at Albany have won awards for the upcoming academic year from the Greater Buffalo Society of Professional Journalists College Scholarship Fund.

Meghan Brink of Allegany, N.Y. attends the University at Albany where as editor-in-chief of the Albany Student Press, she played a key role in reviving the independent student newspaper. She has also been an intern with New York StateWatch. 

Griffin Della Penna of Batavia attends Canisius College where he has been focusing on sports journalism. He served as the team broadcaster and director of media relations for the Batavia Muckdogs this past summer and has accepted a position to be a ESPN 3 broadcaster at Canisius for its soccer programs. 

Meghan Hall of Amherst attends St. Bonaventure University and has contributed to TAPinto Greater Olean, an online newspaper. She has also worked part-time at the Olean Times Herald and served as a fellow at the Carnegie-Knight News21 Program at Arizona State University.

Jenna Wirth of Williamsville attends Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications where she has contributed more than 150 articles to print and digital publications. She was a fellow for Popsugar, a digital lifestyle publication, as well as Health magazine. 

“These four talented individuals have distinguished themselves as exceptional student journalists,” said Fund Chair Brian Meyer. “We believe they possess enormous potential and will achieve great things in their professions.”

This marks the 43rd year that the local organization has awarded annual scholarships to aspiring and professional journalists. Since the late 1970s, the group has awarded 155 scholarships totaling more than $135,000. Winners have attended about 30 different colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

The program helps future and current journalists in Western New York, Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario. Five trustees, chosen for staggered five-year terms, serve without remuneration. Nearly 100 percent of all fund revenues are awarded as scholarships. 

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

July 27, 2021 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia.

Mike Baluja -- that's the name on the YouTube channel this video appears on -- made this video as a tribute to the 2021 Batavia Muckdogs and coach Joey Martinez.  

He wrote in the description:

A tribute to the Batavia Muckdogs inaugural year in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Dedicated to Coach Joey Martinez, who saw my grandson at a showcase in December of 2020, and invited him to be among this very special group of players that he had assembled. His persistence and advice were instrumental in influencing our decision. It turned out to be a very rewarding experience for those involved.

The Muckdogs have two games left in their season that will go a long way in determinng whether they make the playoffs.  They're in Jamestown tomorrow night to take on the first-place Tarp Skunks and at home at 7 p.m. on Thursday to play Niagara. 

July 23, 2021 - 2:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

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Batavia hitters unloaded on Newark pitchers Thursday evening in an offensive onslaught that included a grand slam home run by shortstop Charlie Szykowny (top and bottom photos).

Szykowny went 2-2 raising his season average to .311. The big blast was Szykowny's first HR of the season. 

Batavia native Jerry Reinhart was 2-3, scoring twice.

The Muckdogs won 11-1 lifting the team's recored to 19-17. Batavia is in third place, a half-game behind the Geneva Red Wings with six games to go in the regular season. 

Blair Frederick was the winning pitcher, going five and a third innings, giving up only two hits, walking one and whiffing eight.

The Muckdogs' final home games of the regular season are tonight at 7 against Jamestown, Sunday at 4:05 p.m. also against Jamestown, and Thursday, 7:05 p.m., against Niagara Power. Jamestown is in first place in the Western Division with a record of 26-12.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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David Chua throwing out the first pitch.

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Blair Frederick

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Daniel Burroway 

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Jerry Reinhart with a head-first slide into second base after a line drive into right field.

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Reinhart scores.

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July 19, 2021 - 11:43am
posted by James Burns in sports, baseball, muckdogs, batavia.

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UPDATE 11:58 a.m.: Griffin Dellapenna, the Muckdogs' broadcaster, says the Muckdogs won 10-10.

Yesterday's Batavia Muckdogs game against Elmira ended in confusion and we still don't really know what happened.

Fans left the game thinking the Pioneers forfeited but the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League lists the game as suspended and is not listing the game as a win for the Muckdogs in the Western Division standings.

By all appearance in the bottom of the ninth, the Muckdogs won on a walk-off check swing. Yeah, that sounds crazy, but that’s what happened. To quote the Dwyer Stadium announcer “I think we just won 10-10 folks."

The tone was set for the crazy ending in the bottom of the first inning where Batavia scored two runs off a wild pitch, one that appeared to hit the batter in the foot. Elmira Pioneers felt this should have been a dead ball and the batter should have taken first base; the umpire ruled it a wild pitch and the two runs scored. From this point forward the relationship between the Pioneers and the umpires was, well, contentious. An inning later, the Elmira coach was ejected during a vigorous discussion with an umpire.

After five innings Batavia led 8-0 and Elmira started to climb back into the game. The game was delayed 30 minutes for a lightning strike in the area and for kids to pick up candy dropped on the field by a helicopter. (The helicopter was one of the less crazy events of the game.) At the end of nine innings, the score was knotted at 10 apiece.

In the top of the 10th, the Pioneer pitcher took umbrage with an umpire's ruling that the batter had a checked swing, denying the pitcher a strike call. This happened again on the next pitch and the pitcher, rather colorfully, expressed his disgust with the call as he approached the umpire and was held back by his catcher. The pitcher was ejected from the game. 

Elmira called in a new pitcher from their bullpen and he started to warm up, after a couple of warm-up pitches, the home plate umpire signaled the pitcher he had three more warm-up pitches left before play needed to resume. Yet again, there was another upset Elmira pitcher. He protested in a somewhat impolite way and the umpire responded by signaling he now had only two warm-up pitches remaining.

At this point, the Elmira pitcher used some of the same colorful language to express his dissatisfaction that the previously ejected pitcher did, simultaneously half of the Elmira dugout came onto the field to express their feelings about allowing the pitcher to warm up as did most of the infield. It was at this point the umpire ejected the entire Elmira Pioneers team.  

One would think that would make the final score 10-10, a Batavia win.

Apparently, the league doesn't see it that way and as of this writing, we don't know why.

Once that impromptu craziness was over, it was time for the scheduled craziness to begin, the Battle of the Badges, an exhibition game between Batavia PD and the City of Batavia Fire Department. 

The BPD did try their best including sending a few young children over to the CBFD to tell them “A cat is stuck in a tree, can you come and help?” to distract the firemen. But this tactic did not seem to work. 

After three innings, heavy rain forced the players from the field while the CBFD held a commanding lead over the BPD, 7-0. Three innings is below the five-inning minimum for an official game but we're giving the win to CBFD. But maybe we'll get overruled. That seems to be the way of the night.

There was no official word on the cat in the tree. 

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July 16, 2021 - 3:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, muckdogs, sports, baseball.

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On STOP-DWI night at Dwyer Stadium on Thursday, Batavia fans were treated to an entertaining game that ended on a walk-off single by Charlie Szykowny.

Szykowny, primarily a shortstop with a strong arm who is hitting .292 on the season, was also the winning pitcher after giving up four runs in his single frame of work.

The University of Wisconsin-Stout senior had three hits and drove in two runs to lead the Muckdogs' offense to a 7-6 win over Jamestown.

Riding a three-game winning streak, the Muckdogs are over .500 for the first time this season, sitting at 17-16 in third place in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League's Western Division.  

Batavia native Jerry Reinhart, a senior at University of Akron, had one hit and scored twice. 

Abner Benitez tripled as a pinch hitter, driving in two runs and raising his season average to .292.

Starter Julian Pichardo, who came into the game with a 4-1 record, didn't figure in the decision after six innings of work in which he gave up two runs, four hits, and fanned six.

The next home game is Saturday at 7 p.m. vs. Newark.

Photos by Philip Casper.

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Dr. Ross Fanara fires in a strike for the first pitch, on his birthday.

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Julian Pichardo

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Jerry Reinhart

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Jerry Reinhart

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Jerry Reinhart scores game's first run.

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Deputy Andrew Mullen and K-9 "Frankie."

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Charlie Szykowny

July 9, 2021 - 2:07pm
posted by Press Release in news, muckdogs, baseball, stop-dwi night, batavia.

Submitted photos and press release:

Join Genesee County STOP-DWI and the Genesee County Youth Bureau for a night of family fun as they team up to host the STOP-DWI Night at the Ballpark on Thursday, July 15, gates open at 6 p.m.

The Batavia Muckdogs will take on the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.    

The first 100 youths will receive a T-shirt or Muck Bucks for purchases in the ballpark. An additional 500 giveaways and prizes will be given throughout the night.

The grand prize of a youth bike from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle.

Fun and interactive educational booths and displays will be available for families and children to visit.

Help us cheer on Detective Matthew Wojtaszczyk (inset photo, right) as he throws the first pitch of the game. Having served with the Batavia Police Department since 2014, Detective Wojtaszczyk has provided extraordinary service to this community in his efforts to help educate the public on the effects of impaired driving and to help protect our streets from the dangers of impaired drivers.

While assigned to patrol division, he was very active in DWI enforcement, and awarded the Genesee County STOP-DWI “Top Cop Award” in 2016. In 2017, Detective Wojtaszczyk became a drug recognition expert (DRE), tasked with assisting fellow officers who are investigating individuals suspected of driving while impaired.

Detective Wojtaszczyk remains active in community outreach events, including the STOP-DWI Night at the Ballpark.

Event sponsors and contributors: GCASA, Gerace Realty, Kiwanis Club of Batavia, Marchese Computers, Police Benevolent Association, United States Gypsum Co., Batavia Lions Club, The Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant, Western New York Association of Chiefs of Police, Polish Falcons, Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, and Walmart.

Join us for a great night at the ballpark and remember impaired driving is completely preventable. All it takes is a little planning.

Gates open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7:05 p.m.

Top photo, from left: Le Roy Police Chief Greg Kellogg; Genesee County Undersheriff Bradley Mazur; Genesee County Sheriff William Sheron; Chelsea Green, with the Genesee County Youth Bureau; Tammi Ferringer, STOP-DWI coordinator; Chelsea Elliott, with the Genesee County Youth Bureau; John Roche, owner of Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle; Officer Felicia DeGroot, of the Batavia Police Department; and Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch.

July 6, 2021 - 3:59pm
posted by Press Release in batavia, baseball, sports, muckdogs.

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Press release: 

After a commanding 4-0 victory on Saturday, June 3rd, in front of a large crowd against the Niagara Power, the Muckdogs went into a two-game stretch against opponents in the NYCBL. Batavia hosted the Mansfield Destroyers for the second time this season, as they lost 13-3 in a crossover matchup back on June 7th.

On Sunday, Batavia struck first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first after a Blair Frederick RBI triple and Trevor Dean crossing home after an error by Mansfield catcher Blake Murray. Caden Walton and Frederick would both score due to a two-RBI single off the bat of third baseman Ethan Sarmiento to create a four-run lead.

Nathan Hinkley would allow his first runs on the contest in the fifth as Bryce Porter would drive in two runs to make it a 4-2 ball game. The Destroyers would tack on eight runs in the sixth inning, putting Batavia down six runs erasing their early lead.

As always, the Muckdogs like to make things interesting down the stretch, responding with two runs of their own after Mansfield added one more in the eighth and three more in the ninth. Down 11-9, Mansfield’s closer Matt Kahn shut the door getting the last three outs to secure the win.

Shifting into Monday’s action with the Syracuse Salt Cats, both teams agreed that the friendly matchup would just be seven innings due to both teams running low on pitching. Kyle O’Neill got the nod for Batavia as the Felician University right-hander tossed three scoreless innings while striking out six.

Batavia lost 1-0.

Trey Bacon entered the game in relief and allowed the only to run in the fourth as right fielder Carter Huffman hit a sacrifice fly to score Matt Rinaldi. Abner Benitez would have two of Batavia’s four hits in the game, as there were only a combined seven hits for both teams.

Even though Batavia dropped two straight, neither game will count toward their regular-season records or to their individual stats. Tuesday’s game against the Geneva Red Wings will count as it is the final night of the USA Homestand at Dwyer Stadium. Batavia currently sits at 12-14 and is tied with the Red Wings (13-15) as they are seven games back for the first place Jamestown Tarp Skunks in the West Division.

The Muckdogs will then travel to Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls in a matchup with the Power before facing the Elmira Pioneers three days in a row from Thursday to Saturday. Elmira has lost five straight games and is just one game over .500, meaning if Batavia wins against Geneva and takes two out of three against the Pios, they could be in second place.

First pitch for Tuesday night’s game is scheduled for 7:05 o'clock at Dwyer Stadium. It can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.” Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs, Instagram @Batavia_Muckdogs, and like our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

Top photo: Syracuse infielders Michael DeStefano and Eddy Garcia tracking a pop-up over the infield in the second inning.

Photos by Howard Owens.

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June 27, 2021 - 1:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, sports, baseball.

Press release:

The roller-coaster ride of emotions continues for the Muckdog as after they just won four out of their last five games to claw their way but to .500; they lose their second straight game. After Friday night’s nail-biting loss to the Tarp Skunks 2-1, Batavia looked to maintain the season series lead against the Elmira Pioneers on Faith and Family Night at Dwyer Stadium.

Andrew Parr got the ball to start the game, as the righty from Andrews College started the year out of the bullpen but was on the mound for his second start of the season against Elmira. Going into the game, Parr led the entire Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League with a 0.00 ERA in 17 innings pitched and was tied for first with four wins.

Elmira’s bats got rolling early as Parr allowed three hits, and first basemen Bobby Marsh drove in the first run against Parr so far this season. The Pios then got six hits off the former PGCBL Pitcher of the Week in the second inning, including an opposite-field two-run homer for Chris Erickson. Parr was yanked for Niagara University right-hander Tyler Prospero in a 6-0 ballgame with just one out in the inning.

Batavia would respond in the bottom half of the inning, scoring both Jerry Reinhart and Abner Benitez to cut the deficit to just four. The hits just continue to come in bunches for Elmira, as they had double digits in the fourth inning. The Pioneers scored three in the fourth and three more in the fifth due to a bases-clearing triple from right fielder Dom Popa.

As always, the Muckdogs did not go down without a fight, down 10 runs in the seventh pinch hitter Ethan Frasca and Luis Rodriguez both scored after RBI’s from Cameron Conley and Charlie Szykowny. Batavia would tack on two more in the eighth after Elmira responded with two runs of their own.

With a final score of 14-6, Elmira mustered up 19 total hits in an impressive showing from top to bottom of the Pioneer order. Extra hitter Gil Merod had a four-hit game with three runs scored, and Auburn catcher Jake Schorr finished with three hits and three RBIs. Cam Hill got the win on the mound, as so far on the year, Batavia was used to seeing him playing first base and batting third for the Pios, with Parr picking up the loss.

Batavia now falls to 9-12 on the year and back into fourth place as Geneva winning both games of the doubleheader against Auburn. Facing the Auburn Doubledays today will be the Muckdogs, as they play a team from the central division for the first time this year.

First pitch at Falcon Park is at 5:05 p.m.! It can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

June 24, 2021 - 11:06am
posted by Press Release in sports, muckdogs, baseball, batavia.

Press release:

Wednesday was the Muckdogs' first doubleheader of the 2021 season, traveling to Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls to face the Power. The day started off with miscommunication on the report time with the bus, pushing game one’s start time back 30 minutes to 5 p.m.

Nathan Hinkley got the ball in game one with the Muckdogs trying to push their win streak to three, and in the process, making it for straight losses for Niagara. The Power would strike in the first inning, as five of the six hits over the seven-inning game occurred in the first three frames. TCU shortstop hit a deep home run down the left-field line in his first at-bat with Niagara to make a 1-0 ballgame.

Batavia would respond in the top of the fourth with a leadoff bunt single by Charlie Szykowny, and later would be driven in on the RBI single from first baseman Joe Georger to tie the game. Hinkley would settle in and groove in the last three innings, as the Keystone College right-hander allowed just one hit and three other base runners during that time in the complete game.

Base-running errors were crucial for both teams throughout the game, as Hinkley picked off four Niagara base runners at first base, and Brice Mortillaro was thrown out going home on an Ethan Sarimento double in the fifth. With the game still knotted at one heading into the seventh, Spencer Marcus smacked a leadoff triple into the right-center gap for his first hit of the day.

After Abner Benitez was walked on four pitches as reliever AC Chavez game into the game; Jerry Reinhart had the go-ahead RBI on an infield single that scored Marcus from third. Mortillaro would also redeem himself with a standup double where Reinhart showed off his speed and almost beat Benitez to home plate.

Hinkley would continue being the man on the mound in the seventh, retiring Casey Saucke for the final out to get his first win of the season and leading the Muckdogs to a 4-1 victory in a game that was one hour and 42 minutes long.

Game two was anticipated to start 30 minutes after the completion of game one, not leaving much time for players to get ready and eat some food on dollar cheeseburger day. Five minutes before the first pitch, penciled in starting pitcher Blair Frederick informed the coaching staff that he was not able to throw to due shoulder discomfort, creating a sense of panic in who was going to start for Batavia.

Kyle Kohlhafer would get his first start in PGCBL action, as his first appearance in a Muckdog uniform came against the Mansfield Destroyers in a friendly nonleague game. Kohlhafer’s start would only last one and two-thirds innings after giving up three earned runs and five hits. Colin Noeth came into the game to get the final out of the second inning but only lasted an inning as he let up three runs on one swing of the bat from the University of Virginia commitment Casey Saucke.

Nate Novia was handed the ball to start the fourth, but could not get an out in the fifth as Utah catcher Brock Rudy had a bases-clearing triple that made it a 10-2 game. Relievers George Osbourne and Kyle O’Neill did not allow a run to score in their combined two innings of work, striking out four Power batters.

The Batavia bats were pretty stagnant in game two, only mustering up three hits compared to Niagara’s 11. Mitch Fleming and Michael Florides would score the two Muckdog runs back in the third inning to make it a 3-2 ballgame before seven unanswered runs for Niagara. Florides, Charlie Szykowny, and Abner Benitez were responsible for the Muckdogs hits.

In a less than ideal scenario in game two, with Frederick not being able to throw with short notice to the other pitchers, Batavia’s win streak is snapped at three games to sit at an 8-10 record. Geneva currently sits at 8-8 as they are riding a three-game losing skid after Wednesday night’s loss to the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.

The Muckdogs will be back home tonight on Guaranteed Win Night against the Geneva Red Wings with the opportunity to jump into third place in the Western Division as they currently sit one game back.

First pitch of game one is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium. It can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and like our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

June 23, 2021 - 6:04pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

Press release:

The Muckdogs early last week were sitting at 5-5, riding a three-game winning streak before entering a four-game losing streak heading into action this past Sunday. Inconsistencies on both sides of the ball were credited to that losing streak said skipper Joe Martinez.

“It felt like when we would get runs and immediately give them right back,” Martinez said.

Looking to get back to their winning ways, Batavia played their most complete game of the season on Father’s Day on Sunday versus the Niagara Power. Just three days before, Niagara held a combined perfect game heading into the ninth inning as starting pitcher Ben Miller had a masterful performance.

Miller threw seven scoreless frames, not allowing a base runner and striking out 11 Muckdogs. Due to Miller only pitching seven and two-thirds innings prior to that appearance, he was pulled after 83 pitches. Cameron Gallardo was given the ball in the bottom of the eighth and kept the perfect game intact with just three outs remaining. Daniel Burroway broke the perfect game with a single past Casey Saucke down the third baseline.

Later in the inning, Joe Georger hit a line drive over the head of centerfielder Nathan Manning, putting the Muckdogs on the board as two runs would score on the Georger triple. The late-game rally came up short as the Muckdogs lost to the Power 5-2.

Fast forward to their next matchup against the Power, Batavia struck first in the fourth and did not look back as Spencer Marcus had a leadoff single off Power starter Joey Schott and would later score. Trey Bacon had a leadoff single off Gallardo in the fifth and tallied another run for the Dogs to go up 2-0.

For Batavia, former PGCBL Pitcher of the Week, Andrew Parr had his first start of the season, holding the Power scoreless. In six innings pitched Parr struck out six, allowing four hits, while also picking up his fourth win of the season. Parr currently leads the PGCBL in ERA (0.00) and Wins (4).

Ethan Frasca, Cameron Conley, and Charlie Szykowny scored runs in the sixth to go up 5-0, and Conley scored again in the eighth on Spencer Marcus’ RBI single. Batavia would snap the losing skid at four games in the 6-0 win and be tied with the Newark Pilots at 6-9.

Monday’s friendly matchup against the Elmira Pioneers was canceled at Dwyer Stadium due to a storm in Batavia. The Muckdogs then shifted their focus to the Pilots as they visited Colburn Park for the first time this season on Tuesday.

With both teams tied in fourth place in the Western Division at 6-9, Newark got out to an early 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Blake MacMillian started on the mound for the Pilots, and Batavia had no answer for the Niagara University southpaw. MacMillian went five scoreless innings with only two Muckdogs reaching base but was taken out due to him mainly coming out of the pen.

Jimmy Dougherty was the man in relief, and the Muckdogs' bats came alive in the sixth. Brice Mortillaro started things off with a single; Michael Florides and Caden Walton had three straight singles. Abner Benitez knocked in two of them on a slicing double down the left-field line.

The game was tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh until Blair Frederick’s go-ahead two-run blast to go up 5-3. The flood gates opened as the Dogs scored eight runs in the seventh, batting through the entire lineup.

Batavia pitchers Dathon McGrath, Tyler Prospero and Carlos Rodriguez struck out 17 Pilots during the game, with an impressive outing from Prospero as he was responsible for six of them in his two innings of relief.

Batavia now sits at 7-9, heading into their doubleheader tonight with the Niagara Power at Sal Maglie Stadium. The rainout from this past Friday in Niagara Falls is responsible for the two seven-inning games with the opportunity for the Muckdogs to get back to .500.

First pitch of game one is scheduled for 5 p.m., with the second game starting 30 minutes after the completion of game one.

It can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

June 19, 2021 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Arc GLOW, Challenger Baseball, news, batavia, muckdogs.

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The annual Challenger Baseball game was held at Dwyer Stadium this afternoon with the Batavia Muckdogs hosting clients of Arc of Genesee Orleans.

The Muckdogs play a home game tonight at 7 o'clock against Jamestown.

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June 17, 2021 - 11:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in muckdogs, batavia, baseball, sports.

Press release: 

Inconsistency throughout the first two weeks of the season for the Muckdogs has created a roller coaster of high and low points. With Monday night’s walk-off, 6-5 exhibition win in the rearview, Batavia dropped to a 5-7 record after losing two straight.

On Tuesday against the Pioneers, a two-RBI triple by Charlie Szykowny in the opening frame created an early 2-0 lead. That lead stayed intact till the bottom of the third inning as the Pios put seven runs on the scoreboard on just five hits.

After adding two more runs for good measure to make the score 9-2 with four innings in the books, Batavia would score a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth to make it a 9-6 ballgame. First baseman Joe Georger was a large part of the Muckdogs' success, tallying three hits and scoring two runs at the bottom of the order.

Georger and extra hitter Trey Bacon consistently getting on base created the opportunity for guys at the top of the lineup like Cameron Conley, Spencer Marcus and Abner Benitez to drive them in. Reliever Tyler Prospero had a great appearance for Batavia as Dathon McGrath could only go two and a third in the start. Prospero ran out of gas in the seventh with Chris Erickson smacking an RBI triple, while Kyle O’Neill would allow another to go up 11-6.

As they have shown repeatedly, the Dogs are a resilient group of guys that are determined till the very end. A spot that they found themselves in less than 24 hours before, down five runs with Bacon leading off the inning with a hit by pitch against pitcher David Ferguson. Benitez would walk on four pitches, and Marcus would have his second hit of the night to have the bases loaded with one out.

Charlie Szykowny battled against Ferguson to allow another walk that made the score 11-7. Coming to the plate was the game-tying run in Daniel Burroway would up to that point was 0-3 for the night but hit the ball hard all over the yard. Burroway laced a ball up the middle that was snagged by Pioneer shortstop Donovan Montgomery for the second out, and Montgomery stepped on second to complete the game-ending double play.

A situation that brought back flashbacks to Friday night’s 7-6 loss to Geneva as Blair Frederick hit a line-drive double play that ended Batavia’s comeback hopes just a few days before. The Muckdogs still hold the 3-2 season series against the Pios (not counting Monday’s exhibition win) as Elmira found themselves just a half-game back of first place.

Shifting gears into another challenging game on the road at Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park Wednesday night, as the Muckdogs were still looking for their first win against the Jamestown Tarp Skunks. For the second straight night, Batavia got ahead early as Daniel Burroway score both Marcus and Benitez. However, a common theme for the Dogs is not capitalizing by adding to their lead with the bases loaded and giving their lead right back to the opponent.

Jamestown took the lead in the bottom half after a two-run bomb from extra hitter Luke Turner off Nathan Hinkley to go up 3-2. In the fourth, they added a trio of runs as DiMaggio Cazaras, Justin Bowers, and Justin Bailey all came around to score in the fourth.

Down 6-2 catcher Mitch Fleming got ahold of a fastball and drove it over the left-field wall for a two-run homer for his first of the season to cut the deficit to two. In the middle innings for Batavia, they continued to hit line drives and put the ball in play, but gold glove plays by Cazaras in left field, Bailey in right, Danny Hosley at third, and Haiden Hunt in center ensured that Jamestown kept their lead safe.

In the bottom of the sixth, AJ Winger retired the first two batters of the inning before allowing a walk to Bowers and a single to shortstop Chase Carlson. The next man up, Justin Bailey, hit a ball to Szykowny that was thrown to Georger at first, and a great pick was made to get the final out of the inning.

The only problem was the base umpire called Bailey safe at first base, allowing the inning to continue. Hunt on the first pitch he saw, hit a two-RBI single, followed by Mark Tucker, also driving in two runners.

With one call dictating a four-run swing for Jamestown, Batavia had more work to do with the bats as Benitez hit a towering solo shot over the 342-foot foul pole in right field to make it a 10-5 game. Outfielder Trevor Dean had himself a great day at the plate with two doubles and an RBI single in the seventh to make it a four-run game.

Matt Henson came and shut the door in the ninth for the Tarp Skunks, solidifying a two-game losing streak for the Muckdogs heading into a home-and-home series against the Niagara Power. Batavia beat the Power in their first meeting last Saturday 10-5 at Sal Maglie Stadium.

A home game at Dwyer Stadium today will be the Muckdogs first since Monday’s exhibition game. Niagara will then host Batavia on Friday for a 6 p.m. Friday start, with the Dogs then having three straight games at home throughout the weekend.

First pitch against the Power will be at 7:05 tonight -- Thirsty Thursday!

It can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

June 14, 2021 - 5:04pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

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Press release:

Batavia rode their 10-5 win against the Niagara Power at Sal Maglie Stadium on Saturday to their second straight win as the Newark Pilots came to Dwyer. By no means was it a pretty game with two hits for the Dogs, but they were disciplined at the plate, drawing 11 total walks.

The Savanna Bananas' dancing first base Coach Maceo Harrison, a viral sensation on social media, also made an appearance for the fans at Dwyer. Harrison showed off his moves in the second, fourth and sixth innings.

Starting pitcher for Newark, Danny Owen, struggled with his location, hitting four batters in his two innings on the mound. Spencer Marcus had an RBI single in the first that scored leadoff hitter Caden Walton who was beamed three times in four at-bats.

Batavia stayed patient at the dish in the second inning, scoring three runs with no hits while stranding the bases loaded. The Muckdogs' other hits came in the bottom of the seventh after Abner Benitez had an RBI triple that also scored Walton.

Julian Pichardo picked up his second win of the 2021 season as the big right-hander from Coastal Alabama CC pitched seven scoreless innings for the Muckdogs. Pichardo only allowed two hits, striking out four Pilots batters and providing large cushions for relievers Kyle Kohlhafer and Nate Novia.

Both Kohlhafer and Novia pitched an inning. They allowed one baserunner each but left them stranded on the basepaths.

Now sitting at 5-5 on the season, Batavia will play at home Monday night against the Elmira Pioneers in an exhibition game that will not count toward their official record.

The games can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

Top photo: Julian Pichardo #40 starting pitcher.

To view or purchase pictures, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene Photography.

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LAW Dance Studio

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Savanna Bananas' dancing first base Coach Maceo Harrison​ showing off some moves.

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George Parish age 96, World War II vet, of Alexander.

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June 12, 2021 - 9:27am
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, baseball, sports, batavia.

Press release:

At some points this season, it seems like the Muckdogs just haven’t been able to catch a break.

With the game hanging in the balance heading into the bottom of the ninth, Batavia trailed the Geneva Red Wings 7-5. Pinch hitter Caden Walton was beaned in the elbow on the first pitch he saw, and Cameron Conley also reached base after being walked on four pitches.

Abner Benitez kept his hitting streak alive as he laid down a bunt against southpaw reliever Ryan Gassler after first baseman Noah Reichman fielded the bunt and tried to get the lead runner Walton at third, but Walton reached before the throw.

Spencer Marcus stepped up to the plate down two runs with based loaded and no outs in what felt like a perfect scenario. Gassler hit Marcus in the foot with a breaking ball to cut the deficit to just one as the Muckdogs were in a prime position to win on Batavia Blue Devil Night.

Cleanup hitter Daniel Burroway struck out for the first out of the inning, but star outfielder/pitcher Blair Frederick was due up next in a great spot to have a walk-off in his first game as a Muckdog. In a 1-1 count, Frederick ripped a ball up the middle, and Gassler made an athletic play to catch the line drive and throw the ball over to third to complete the double play. And just like that, the game was over.

Batavia had the opportunity to cash in runners throughout the ballgame as well, leaving 12 runners left on base and the Muckdogs continue to struggle in that category. Starting Pitcher Nathan Hinkley was credited with the loss after going 5.2 innings, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs.

Catcher Joey Battaglia and third basemen Jerry Reinhart had great nights at the plate, scoring two runs apiece and having base hits in the three-run fourth inning for the Dogs.

The Muckdogs will now travel to Sal Maglie Stadium to square off against the Niagara Power for their first meeting of 2021. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Batavia will be back home for a 4:05 p.m. game Sunday against the Newark Pilots.

Today’s game can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

June 11, 2021 - 5:36pm
posted by Press Release in muckdogs, batavia, sports, baseball.

Press release:

On the 80th anniversary of Russell E. Diethrick Park, the Jamestown Tarp Skunks picked up their fifth win of the season in a 9-0 victory against the Muckdogs Thursday night.

Not being able to drive in base runners in scoring position and minimizing errors in the field that create crooked numbers on the scoreboard was the difference in the ball game. Batavia was 0-7 with runners in scoring position and left double-digit runners stranded on the base paths.

The fifth inning has been cursed for the Muckdogs so far this season, as Jamestown added five more runs to their 2-0 lead. Three errors in the field played a large part in the blowup inning, with only two of the five runs scored were earned runs for starting pitcher Dathon McGrath.

For Batavia, Abner Benitez increased his hitting streak to six games after a single in the top of the fourth inning, as the Alabama State outfielder is hitting .414. Both Benitez and Daniel Burroway had two-hit performances for the Dogs, as they both had their hits in the fourth and ninth innings, respectively. Luis Rodriguez and Michael Florides had the two other hits for the Muckdogs.

The Muckdogs look to get back to their winning ways on Batavia Blue Devil night at Dwyer Stadium against the Geneva Red Wings tonight (June 11th). Geneva is second in the West Division with a 4-2 record. Last night the Red Wings lost to the Elmira Pioneers extra innings by a score of 5-4.

First pitch is scheduled for a 7:05 start Saturday night. Tomorrow’s game can be viewed on YouTube Live by subscribing to BataviaMuckdogBaseball. Make sure to follow our Twitter @BataviaMuckdogs and liking our Facebook Page, “BataviaMuckdogBaseball.”

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