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Veres hurls Muckdogs into NYP Finals09/10/2008 10:35 PM ET
By Steve Conley / Special to MLB.com
The Batavia Muckdogs were nine outs and six runs from elimination Tuesday. But the offense rallied for the win and Adam Veres took care of the rest Wednesday.
Veres allowed a run on two hits, striking out seven over a career-long seven innings as the Batavia Muckdogs edged the Lowell Spinners, 3-2, to advance to their first-ever New York-Penn League Finals.
Batavia will face the Jamestown Jammers in the best-of-3 Championship Series, with both teams seeking their first league title.
"We feel great right now, this was obviously the biggest game of the season," Veres said. "We've got a lot of high-spirited guys that want to go all the way with this."
Veres (1-0), who had allowed only an unearned run over his last nine innings, gave up a run in the first on a hit batsmen, a single and a double-play groundout.
"I was really amped up to get this start," he said. "I was locating the fastball to both sides of the plate and the ball was moving real well. I just wanted to prepare for this one just like any other game, but this one obviously meant a little more."
Ramon Delgado struck out the side in the eighth before Adam Riefer ran into trouble in the ninth. He issued a leadoff walk and allowed a run on a two-out single before striking out Ricardo Burgos with the tying run on second for the save.
Batavia dropped the series opener to Lowell in 12 innings and trailed in the sixth inning, 8-2, in Game 2. The Muckdogs rallied for 11 runs over the final three innings to force tonight's decisive game.
"All the kids on this team play with a ton of heart," Veres said. "We worked hard every day and you would think being down six runs with only three innings left that guys would be discouraged. Guys stayed on their feet and we got some breaks and turned it into a win."
Chris Swauger singled and scored on Jose Garcia's infield single in the second to tie the game, 1-1. In the fourth, Xavier Scruggs lifted a sacrifice fly and Frederick Parejo singled and scored on a passed ball.
Jamestown won six of the 10 meetings between the teams during the regular season. According to Veres, there's been no love lost between the two teams.
"It would mean a lot to win it, they're our biggest rival," he said. "The Spring Training complex is shared between the Marlins and Cardinals, and we don't wanna have to see them next year having gotten beat."
"There's a lot of first-year guys here and to be able to play for a championship in your first pro season is pretty special."
Spinners starter Bryan Price (0-1) gave up three runs -- on earned -- on seven hits and two walks with one strikeout over four innings.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.