Muckdogs rally past State College to hold lead
BATAVIA – For the better part of eight innings Thursday night, the Batavia Muckdogs were in danger dropping out of first place.
Enter the power of Nic Ready and Sean Reynolds.
After a Troy Johnston’s RBI single gave Batavia a 5-4 lead, Ready blasted a two-run double followed by a 418-foot home run by Reynolds to center field.
Batavia (36-29) scored seven runs and went on to win, 9-5.
West Virginia fell to Auburn, 5-2 to drop to 34-29, one game behind Batavia. State College is 33-32 and three back.
Batavia and State College play again tonight at 7:05 p.m.
The Muckdogs trailed, 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Ready crushed his eighth home run of the season to left field. The ball left the yard in such a hurry the left fielder never moved.
Ready finished with 4 RBI’s, and he returned from the New York-Penn League All-Star Game with six other teammates before the game.
“We are used to it, we like to think jet-lag is not a thing. We show up and play the game,” said Ready. “We got some good rest, got some fluids in us, hydrated and go get them tonight.
“We knew we were in the lineup, we were at the all-star game for a reason so we might as well show it at our home field,” Ready added.
Down 4-2 in the 8th, Ready, a 2019 Miami Marlins draft pick out of the U.S. Air Force, said the attitude was to win.
“We have a saying, ‘Dogs, Never Die,’ we are always in a fight, especially on our home turf, anything can happen,” Ready said. “A team could take the lead, we put up seven runs late and come up to win it. We love playing at home, a lot of fans came out and we appreciate it.”
The Muckdogs then played some outstanding defense as State College was threatening in the top of the sixth. Moises Castillo singled and Batavia centerfielder Milton Smith fired the ball to Muckdogs first baseman Sean Reynolds who alertly went to second base to nab Castillo. Second baseman Andrew Turner tagged him out then fired to Nic Ready at third base to get David Vinsky who originally was trying to score.
On the mound for Batavia, Jackson Rose started and struck out one in 4.1 innings, then Joniker Villalobos struck out two in one inning. Jeremy Galindez tossed 2.1 innings of one-run ball with two strikeouts. With runners on and State College leading 4-2, Edison Suriel came on and got a strikeout to end the seventh.
Suriel stayed in for the win, improving to 3-2 and he went 1.1 innings striking out three.