Like their St. Louis Cardinals parents, the Batavia Muckdogs reside in a six-team division in a league of four-team divisions elsewhere, the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.
First-year manager Dann Bilardello
piloted his club to a 45-29 regular season record, taking the division by 2 ½
games over wild card winner
The ValleyCats were awarded Game 1
at home, while the Muckdogs hosted Games 2 and 3 (if necessary). All three games
would eventually be decided by a single run, but
Game 1: Tri-City 10,
The opener had wild swings in each direction with the contest going into extras. Tri-City hit up Muckdogs left-hander John Gast for four runs in the first inning and then tagged on another three in the third for an early 7-2 lead.
The Muckdogs stormed back to take a two-run edge with a six-run sixth inning rally that began with a Jonathan Rodriguez double. With two-outs left in the inning, Yunier Castillo, Chris Edmondson, Victor Sanchez, Nick Longmire, and Audry Perez connected for five consecutive hits and drove in the lead runs.
The game was scoreless for the
next two innings until the bottom of the ninth when 2010 NYPL All-Star Chase Reid entered to close out the game for
The ValleyCats scored two runs in the first on a groundout and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch misfired by starter Zack Russell. Russell would go on to allow just one hit over six innings.
Juan Castillo's sac fly in the second closed the gap to one. The Muckdogs took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on a Jonathan Rodriguez RBI single and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Joey Bergman. Rodriguez plated another in the same manner in the seventh and Victor Sanchez' RBI single in the eighth made the score 5-2.
After Tri-City scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, the game ended when Castillo handed a perfect strike from Bergman, tagging out what would have been the tying run at home plate. box score
Game 3: Tri-City 1,
In front of just 601 people on
Thursday night, the financially-strapped Muckdogs played what may have been
their last-ever game in
Andrew Moss tossed a complete-game
four-hitter but yielded the only run of the game in the fourth inning as the
ValleyCats scored on an RBI double.
Two eliminations in two nights
After Thursday's game, outfielder Nick Longmire and catcher Juan Castillo were called up to single-A Quad Cities as injury replacements for what would become the River Bandits' elimination game on Friday night.
Other roster changes
Catcher Geoff Klein was returned to the Muckdogs for the playoffs. The 22-year-old rookie had been temporarily assigned to the Palm Beach Cardinals last weekend and appeared in just one Florida State League game, going 0-for-5 with an RBI and a strikeout.
Outfielder Adam Melker did not appear in the post-season as he was placed on the seven-day disabled list during the week of August 25-31. The 22-year-old last played on August 25. Earlier, the left-handed hitter was suffering from a hamstring injury that kept him out from July 27-August 14.
There was an amazingly clear line between the five hitters who were hot during the three-game series and the five who were not.
Playoff hot hitters
Chris Edmondson: 4-for-12, .333, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Geoff Klein: 3-for-10, .300, 3 BB
Nick Longmire: 5-for-12, .417, 2B, 3 BB, 2 RBI
Jonathan Rodriguez: 7-for-12, .583, 2B, 2 RBI
Victor Sanchez: 4-for-11, .364, BB, 3 RBI
Playoff cold hitters
Joey Bergman: 2-for-9, .222, 3 BB, RBI
Pat Biserta: 1-for-12, .083
Juan Castillo: 1-for-6, .167
Audry Perez: 1-for-6, .167, 2 RBI
Yunier Castillo: 2-for-12, .167, RBI
Playoff hot pitchers
Andrew Moss: 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 5 K, loss, ERA 1.00
Zack Russell: 6 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K, ERA 3.00
Keith Butler: 2 1/3 IP: 3 H, 0 R/ER, hold, save, ERA 0.00
Justin Wright: 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, hold, ERA 0.00
Playoff cold pitchers
John Gast: 5 IP, 9 H, 7 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, ERA 12.60
Chase Reid: 2 1/3 IP: 2 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, BS, loss, ERA 11.57
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