Courtesy of Muckdogs.com
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Milton Smith II has battled with teammate J.D. Orr for the top spot on the New York-Penn League average leader board.
Monday night, Smith raced out to the lead with a 5-for-6 performance to not only increase his average to .423 but lead the first place Muckdogs to a 14-2 win over the State College Spikes.
Batavia (15-8) pounded out 18 hits led by Smith, who also scored three runs, stole a base and collected an RBI. The lefty centerfielder is a 2-18 22nd round draft pick by the parent club Miami Marlins. He is a Starkvile, Mississippi naïve and was drafted out of Meridian CC.
In the fifth, State College was keeping the game close at 5-2 when Batavia manager Tom Lawless started giving runners the green light. Dalvy Rosario and Troy Johnston had RBI singles, then Johnston stole second as Rosario stole home, starting a streak of nine unanswered runs.
Johnston, who is also a lefty outfielder, went 4-for-5, tripped two doubles with three RBI and three runs. He was taken by the Marlins in the 17th round of the 2019 draft out of Gonzaga and now has a .356 average.
Albert Guaimaro has continued his hot streak, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run for the Muckdogs while catcher Dustin Skelton had three hits including a double and two RBI. Skelton was drafted this year by Miami a round after Johnston.
Jack Strunc had two hits and a RBI while Rosario had a hit, scored four runs and drove in a run.
Jackson Rose picked up his third win on the season, this time coming out of the pen to throw four scoreless innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts and just one walk. Rose, 3-1 on the season with a 2.70 ERA, is a 2018 Marlins draft pick out of Minnesota.
Eli Villalobos started and went four innings with four strikeouts and Tyler Kolek threw a perfect inning with a strikeout.
The Muckdogs have now on 7-of-11 games and play one more game Tuesday night in State College at 7:05 p.m.
Coming Home: The Muckdogs return home to play Lowell on Wednesday as part of a three-game home stand (July 10, 11 and 12).
Hot dogs are just $1 on Wednesday and all Labatt’s products are $2. Friday is Crafty Hour, all craft beers are $3. There are other ticket specials for Little League players in uniform as well.
All three games start at 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available at the Dwyer Stadium box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, online at muckdogs.com or call 585-483-3647.