AUBURN, NY - While left fielder Telmito Agustin connected for Auburn's first home run of the season, the Doubleday defense was unable to hold the game for him and the rest of the offense at Falcon Park. The Doubledays (1-1) were unable to overcome their own battle against unearned runs and fell to the the Batavia Muckdogs (1-1), 11-6, despite some late-game action in the eighth and ninth innings.
"We're going to have those days," said Doubledays manager Jerad Head. "Some days we're not going to be able to find the zone, some days we're not going to be able to hit. It's just one of those things you try to grind through."
Lefty starter Yonathan Ramirez got off to a rocky start in the first inning, allowing back-to-back singles after quickly retiring the game's first two batters. With two outs and runners at the corner, Jerar Encarnacion knocked in the first run of the game with an RBI single. Designated hitter JD Osborne made it four singles in a row and drove in another run to quickly give Batavia a 2-0 lead.
Agustin, however, quickly cut that lead in half. He hacked his first home run on a 2-2 count over the right field wall to give the Doubledays their first run of the game. Third basemanMatt Reynolds was able to follow up Agustin's dinger with a walk but was stranded to end the inning.
Ramirez once again struggled with his control in the second inning after hitting a batter and allowing two walks - one of which scored a run from third - before ultimately striking out left fielder Albert Guaimaro to end the inning. He did find some temporary relief from his control issues, however, sitting down six straight batters over the third and fourth innings.
Center fielder Ricardo Mendez , who went 2-for-4 with two RBI on Opening Day, got the run back in the second thanks to some heads-up baserunning. He reached on a force out at second and then advanced to third on a 5-3 groundout by Jose Sanchez . A Denis Karas throwing error allowed not only second baseman Phil Caulfield to reach first, but also Mendez to slide safely into home.
The tides quickly shifted in the Muckdogs favor as the game progressed, however, as Batavia put up a five-spot in the fifth inning. Ramirez exited the game after four innings with the bases loaded and nobody out after a hit batter brought home the fourth run of the game. Angel Guillen entered the game in relief but allowed all three inherited runners to score before ending the inning with back-to-back strikeouts.
Batavia struck once again in the seventh after two costly errors resulted in three more runs for the Muckdogs. Denis Karas, who reached on a throwing error by Sanchez, scored on a bases loaded walk, while Ricardo Cespedes , who reached on an E-3, and Demetrius Sims scored on an Encarnacion single.
"Offensively we were good, we just need to take care of the ball better defensively and pitching - we really didn't throw over the plate tonight," Head said.
The Doubledays attempted a rally in the eighth inning after a pinch-hit double by Jonathan Pryor . Pryor advanced to third on a Reynolds single, and both scored on a Israel Pineda single to center field. But the rally stopped there as the pinch-hitter Gage Canning grounded out to first base.
Another rally in the ninth notched two more runs, but the Doubledays were shut down to even up the series at one apiece.
The Doubledays will be back in action tomorrow for the rubber match game of their series against the Muckdogs, with first pitch at 2 PM.