BATAVIA, N.Y. - The Auburn Doubledays (45-29) blasted two homeruns in the sixth inning on Monday, catapulting themselves to a 5-3 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs (44-30) in front of 1,036 at Dwyer Stadium. The win is the 90th for manager Gary Cathcart as skipper of the Doubledays.
Auburn trailed 1-0 entering the top of the sixth. First baseman Shawn Pleffner, who had two singles in his first two plate appearances, was the first batter to come to the plate for Auburn in the inning. Pleffner didn't take long to unload on a pitch from LHP Ben O'Shea (3-3), blasting the ball over the right-center field wall for his third homerun of the summer. Two batters later, LF Estarlin Martinez sent a ball sailing over the left field wall for a two-run shot, putting Auburn ahead 3-1.
Batavia got one of the runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom led off with a double to left. DH Jacob Wilson then hit a single to right, and Wisdom was thrown out at home attempting to score on the hit for the first out of the frame. After an error by Pleffner and a fly out to right, catcher Adam Lewis singled Wilson home from third to bring the Muckdogs within one.
The Doubledays stretched their lead in the seventh, taking advantage of 2B Tony Renda being hit by a pitch and Pleffner getting intentionally walked. Both Renda and Pleffner wound up scoring on RBI singles from DH Brandon Miller and RF Wander Ramos. That meant that the three through six batters in Auburn's lineup combined to drive in all five runs in the game for the Doubledays.
The Muckdogs made things interesting in the ninth, getting back-to-back doubles from CF Mathew Young and RF Steve Ramos with two outs. That closed the gap to two, and brought LF Breyvic Valera to the plate representing the tying run, but Valera flied out to left field to end the ball game.
Batavia had taken an early 1-0 lead in the third thanks to two wild pitches thrown by Doubledays starter LHP Nick Lee (3-1). Despite allowing Young to move up two bases and score because of the wild pitches, Lee came away with the win, giving up two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings. O'Shea suffered the loss by surrendering three earned runs on nine hits in five innings. RHP Robert Benincasa pitched 2.2 scoreless innings to record his third hold of the season, and RHP Derek Self notched his 14th save by only allowing one run in the ninth.
The Doubledays next begin a season-ending two game series with the Williamsport Crosscutters on Tuesday September 4. Auburn will send LHP Blake Monar (2-3) to the mound for his 12th start of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. All Doubledays road games can be heard on WAUB 98.1FM and 1590AM, and online at www.fingerlakesdailynews.com by clicking on the WAUB stream under the "listen" tab.