Dogs Split Doubleheader With Power
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 5:00 PM.
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 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-fieldline 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 baserunners during that time in the complete game.
Baserunning errors were crucial for both teams throughout the game, as Hinkley picked off four Niagara baserunners 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 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 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 non-league game. Kohlhafer’s start would only last 1 ⅔ 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 commit 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 Thursday 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 PM 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.”