Friday’s doubleheader against the Batavia Muckdogs was not kind to the Doubledays. After evening up the split series at Dwyer Stadium on Thursday with a 5-4 win, Auburn dropped both games at Falcon Park by scores of 4-3 and 4-1, respectively.
Doubledays starter Carlos Romero was a force to be reckoned with in his five innings of work. The six-foot-six righty from Venezuela was just as hot as the muggy Auburn afternoon, allowing just one run – an unearned one at that – while striking out nine. After giving up a one-out double in the first, Romero struck out the next two Muckdogs to end the inning, and then struck out Sean Reynolds to lead off the second.
He, however, ran into trouble later that inning after Muckdogs catcher Michael Hernandez roped a two-out single with runners on first and second to left field. Turner was given the green light and ran through third base as Senior put a charge into the ball. In a bang-bang play, Doubledays catcher Wilmer Perez caught the ball on a hop and tagged Turner at the plate for the third out which left the Doubledays unscaved.
But Romero couldn’t escape a jam in the third inning. J.D. Orr lined a 0-2 pitch for a single, and a throwing error by Perez advanced him all the way to third base. Dalvy Rosario was subsequently hit by a pitch, and after swiping second, Romero found himself with two runners in scoring position and nobody out. A sacrifice fly scored Orr, but a punchout and a flyout to center field limited the damage to just one going into the home half of the inning.
Perez made up for his error in the fifth inning by taking a 1-2 pitch deep to left field for a home run to tie the ballgame. Auburn scored twice more in the sixth inning as Onix Vega tripled Caldioli Sanfler from second, and then scored off a J.T. Arruda single.
The Doubledays needed to hold the Muckdogs for just one more half inning for a victory in their shortened, seven-inning matchup, but Batavia scored thrice to retake the lead. Hunter McMahon, who replaced Fausto Segura on the mound, allowed both his inherited runners to score as well as his own by giving up back-to-back knocks.
Auburn was retired in order in the ninth and lost game one, 4-3.
Amos Willingham, making his first appearance as a starter this season, took the mound for the Doubledays to kick off game 2 of the doubleheader. He led off the game by striking out the Muckdogs’ leadoff and two-hole hitters, and escaped a two-out jam by getting cleanup hitter Brayan Hernandez to fly out, but ended up giving up a pair of runs in the second inning.
Willingham found himself with two runners in scoring position and one out after allowing a pair of singles and a stolen base. Kobie Taylor delivered the big hit for Batavia, a two-run single to bring both runners in. Willingham rebounded nicely, however, by retiring the final two batters in the inning and throwing a scoreless third inning.
On the other side of the plate, the Doubledays could not figure out Muckdogs starter Jackson Rose to start off the contest. Rose shutout Auburn for the first four innings of the game, holding them hitless while striking out five.
But Albert Carrillo broke up his no-hitter in the biggest way possible – a towering home run that made its way over the left field wall to lead off the fifth inning. Andrew Pratt followed up Carrillo’s dinger with a single, but couldn’t string anything else against Rose. He escaped the fifth inning with minimal damage, then went on to throw a scoreless sixth.
The Muckdogs got that run back in the seventh inning and then some off of reliever Alfonso Hernandez. Troy Johnston connected for a two-out RBI single with runners on first and second and two outs, and a wild pitch gave Batavia an insurance run.
The Doubledays managed to get a runner on via error in the ninth inning but couldn’t do much else. Josh Simpson closed the door and secured the Muckdogs’ 4-1 victory over the Doubledays.
The Doubledays will be back in action Friday as they take on the West Virginia Black Bears at 7 PM. Listen to the action LIVE on FingerLakes1.com Radio.
By Chris Valentino Tril