There are 18 games left in the New York-Penn League season, but there was a playoff atmosphere at Dwyer Stadium Wednesday night.
With the West Virginia Black Bears coming in just 1.5 games behind Batavia, the managers were stealing bases, making pitching changes and even the players were involved in a stand-off that lasted over three hours.
In the end, the Batavia Muckdogs improved to 34-24 with an 11-5 win over West Virginia (31-26).
The Muckdogs trailed, 3-1 in the fourth when Nic Ready blasted a home run deep over the left-field fence to cut the lead to 3-2. Ready has seven home runs on the season and went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and his 25th double of the season.
A 2019 Miami Marlins draft pick in the 23rd-round out of the Air Force Academy, has 34 RBI’s on the season.
Batavia shortstop Dalvy Rosario had it best offensive night of the season, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, 2 RBI’s and scored two runs as well as turning two double plays with Jack Strunc.
J.D. Orr, who leads the NYPL in hitting with a .381 average stole his 24th base of the season and despite just one hit on the night scored four runs. Strunc had two hits and scored twice.
Troy Johnston, a 17th-round pick of the Marlins out of Gonzaga was 2-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a walk. He hit his 10th double of the season.
Milton Smith II is hitting .327 after going 2-for-4.
The crowd noticed a fun standoff between Batavia’s Harrison Dinicola and West Virginia’s Ryan Haug. The two held their hats over their hearts during the national anthem, then players from both teams picked them up like a statue and put them standing in the same position on the bench. During each inning, the players were decorated by Gatorade cups and never moved from the position for over three and a half hours.
When Haug finally had to leave the dugout after the game to catch the bus, Dinicola was the victor, touching off a wild celebration by the players including water and Gatorade bath.
“That was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. My teammates gave me a lot of adrenaline during the game,” Dinicola said. “We had a great team win. The pitchers came in and did their job and our hitters kept hitting, I love it. Go Muckdogs!”
The video of the standoff on the Muckdogs social media sites had over 20,000 combined views after the game and was shared by Minor League Baseball, Yahoo Sports and others.
The Muckdogs went over 30,000 fans on the season, which is over 3,000 more than all of 2018 with 10 home games remaining.
Andrew Miller started and struck out four in 4.1 innings giving up three runs. With runners on in the fifth, M.D. Johnson came in and retired the only two batters he faced to pick up his first win of the season. At 1-0, Johnson has pitched 12.2 innings with 16 strikeouts.
Bryan Hoeing earned his third hold throwing two innings with two strikeouts, no walks, no runs, and just two hits.
Brock Love then closed it with three strikeouts in the last two innings.
Tonight is First Responders Night as all first responders receive two free general admission tickets. it is also Thirsty Thursday with Labatt’s and other special $2 beer prices. The two teams also play Friday night at Dwyer Stadium, both games at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets are available at muckdogs.com or stop by the Dwyer Stadium Ticket office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. The number is 585-483-3647.
For over 3.5 hours, West Virginia’s Ryan Haug, left, and Batavia’s Harrison Dinicola were in the same position from the national anthem. Dinicola won the stand off and the video went viral Wednesday night after the Muckdogs won, 11-5 to stay in first place.