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First place Muckdogs fall in Vermont, 2-0

Contributed Story Posted 14 July 2019 at 8:37 am

Contributed Photo – Milton Smith II had another hit Saturday. He has now hit in 21 of 23 games this season for Batavia.

BURLINGTON, VT. – The Batavia Muckdogs have played 19 games in 19 days, and the long road trip from Batavia to Vermont may have caught up with the hitters.

The Muckdogs (17-11) fell to the Vermont Lake Monsters, 2-0 Saturday night on a game where both teams combined for five hits, the Muckdogs picking up three of them.

Jackson Rose picked up the hard-luck loss, throwing five innings of two-hit ball, giving up a solo home run to Kevin Richards. The only other hit was an infield single.

Eli Villalobos had one of the best outings of his short professional career, throwing three perfect innings in relief, striking out four. Villalobos, a 2018 14th round Miami Marlins draft pick out of Long Beach State has started three games but has excelled for manager Tom Lawless out of the pen. He now has 25 strikeouts in 22 innings and a save.

Sean Reynolds had one of the three hits for the Muckdogs and also walked, putting his average at an even .500 as he has hit in all four games with Batavia since joining the team on July 10 (seven hits).

Milton Smith II, the 21-year-old leadoff hitter for the Muckdogs and had a 12-game hitting streak earlier this season, had another hit and is now hitting .405 this season. Smith II, a 22nd round pick of the Marlins in 2018, is ahead of Gilberto Jimenez of Lowell who is hitting .376 (Muckdog J.D. Orr was second in average but is just short on enough official at bats to qualify).

How amazing has this season been for Smith II? He now has hit in 21 of 23 games he has played.During his 12-game hit streak, his lone at bat was an extra inning walk-off single to win a game for the Muckdogs.

Dalvy Rosario also had a hit for Batavia.

The Muckdogs are at Vermont today and Monday for 7:05 p.m. starts and after a travel day return home for two games to host the Auburn Doubledays, both at 7:05 p.m.