Powered by early offense and solid bullpen work, the Auburn Doubledays took the first series of the season by beating Batavia, 6-4 this afternoon.
The win improves the Doubledays to 2-1 on the year and 2-0 in road contests. They will travel to State College on Monday.
Auburn took control of the game early, plating four runs in the game's second inning off of Batavia right-hander Drew Benes. With two outs in the inning and the bases loaded, second baseman Hendry Jimenez flipped a single to centerfield, plating Caleb Ramsey and Justin Miller, to give the Doubledays a 2-0 lead. Russell Moldenhauer followed by ripping a double down the right field line, scoring Seth Bynum and Hendry Jimenez, putting Auburn up 4-0.
Batavia would counter in the bottom of the third, rattling 19-year-old Auburn starter Pedro Hernandez by turning back-to-back leadoff walks into runs. A few batters later, Jeremy Patton singled in Roberto Reyes to make it a 4-3 game.
But that's as close as Batavia would get.
The Doubledays would add some insurance in the seventh off of reliever Travis Miller. A leadoff single by Justin Miller turned into a run after Bynum doubled him home. A few batters later, Miguel Perez was lifted for Wilfri Pena, who bounced a ball through the infield, scoring Bynum from second and putting Auburn up three runs.
From there on, the Doubledays' bullpen sealed the deal, limiting the Muckdogs to one run over the final three innings, preserving a 6-4 win for the Doubledays.
Aaron Barrett got the win for Auburn and Ben Grisz pitched the ninth for his first save of the year. With the win, the Doubledays improved to 2-1 and will put their perfect 2-0 road record to the test this week as they travel to State College for a three-game series.