Muckdogs' Smith delivers with small ball

Marlins outfield prospect goes career-high 5-for-6 in 14-2 rout

Milton Smith II's .423 average leads the league's next best hitter, Lowell's Gilberto Jimenez, by 66 points. (John Anderson/Batavia Daily News)

By Joe Bloss / | July 8, 2019 11:23 PM

It's fair to wonder whether Milton Smith II can keep hitting at this clip.

The Miami outfield prospect entered Monday as a career .370 hitter, then went 5-for-6 with three runs scored and an RBI as Class A Short Season Batavia routed State College, 14-2, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Smith's five singles marked a career high and boosted his New York-Penn League-leading average to .423.

 Video: Muckdogs' Smith II notches fifth hit

Smith led off the game with a three-pitch strikeout but wasn't retired by Spikes pitchers again. The 21-year-old he delivered an RBI knock to shortstop against Jacob Schlesener (1-2) in the second inning, then led off with a single up the middle against the southpaw in the fourth.

He hit one to center against Junior Gonzalez in the fifth, and then beat the right-hander in the seventh by sending the ninth pitch of the at-bat to left. Finally, Smith legged out an infield hit on a weak grounder to short in the eighth, this time getting the best of left-hander Hector Villalobos.

Smith has hit safely in all but two of his 20 games with the Muckdogs this season. That follows up a strong pro debut in 2018, when after being taken by the Marlins in the 22nd round of the Draft, he hit .362/.435/.431 in 116 at-bats. All but 11 of them came in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

Gameday box score

The top third of Batavia's lineup, which also included Dalvy Rosario and Troy Johnston, combined to score 10 of the club's 14 runs. Johnston and Albert Guaimaro plated three runs apiece.

That was plenty of support for the Batavia pitching staff. Lefty Eli Villalobos allowed two earned runs on seven hits in four innings. Righty Tyler Kolek struck out one in a perfect inning and righty Jackson Rose (3-1) surrendered just one hit over the final four scoreless innings to earn the win. He struck out five and walked one.

Joe Bloss is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @jtbloss. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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