BATAVIA – When the rest of the Miami Marlins prospects were being moved up and down a few weeks ago, Sean Reynolds stayed in Florida to refine his swing and work on little things in his hitting approach.
The Batavia Muckdogs benefitted from that work Wednesday night.
In his first game with the team this season, Reynolds blasted two home runs, going 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs scored. The Muckdogs (16-9) downed the Lowell Spinners (17-7), 8-6.
Reynolds, a crowd favorite, is a 6-foot-7, 237-pound first baseman who hits from the left side and throws right handed. The fourth round pick of the Marlins in 2016 has crushed 33 home runs in his short minor league career. The 21-year-old hit 17 home runs in Batavia last season.
“I want to be a consistent hitter who can have power,” said Reynolds. “It felt good, obviously, two big ones tonight. When it happens, it’s always good.”
Reynolds, though, was pleased with his RBI single in the seventh inning.
“My favorite hit of the three was the two-out, two-strike RBI single,” said Reynolds. “It is huge whenever you get a chance to add on late in a game against a good pen like that.”
As for being back in Batavia, Reynolds said, “The crowd was excited and I was excited to be back. You never want to get sent down per se, but wherever I am I am going to try to help teams win games … That was fun.”
Reynolds then signed autographs for young fans and handed his over-sized batting gloves to one lucky Little League player. The boy looked at the gloves with wide-eyes and Reynolds joked, “don’t worry, you’ll grow into them.”
Lowell has the best overall record in the New York-Penn League and Batavia has the second best record, which is good enough for first place in the Pinckney Division.
With the Muckdogs trailing 6-5 following an extended fifth inning rally from their NYPL opponent, the Lowell Spinners, Reynolds came through with a blast for the ages, a two-run home run which regained the lead for Batavia and proved to be the difference in what eventually turned into an 8-6 win for the home team. The three-run, go-ahead moon shot, Reynolds’ second four-bagger of the game, followed his go-ahead three-run tater in the bottom of the first inning which came after a two-run first from Lowell. Both of Reynolds’ big flies came with two outs. His second home run came off the bat at 115 MPH.
Left fielder J.D. Orr, a 10th round Marlins draft pick this year, continued his torrid start to the season, finishing 3-for-4 with four runs scored and a stolen base while shortstop Dalvy Rosario (two runs), second baseman Jack Strung (25th round pick this year) and center fielder Milton Smith II (22nd round pick in 2018) also chipped in multi-hit games. Smith, the leading hitter in the NYPL is hitting .416 with Orr at .404 and chasing him at the second spot.
Picking up the win on the mound for Batavia was right-hander Joey Steele (1-0), who pitched one and two thirds clean innings, allowing two hits and striking out one. Steele, a 30th round pick this year, got out of a jam in the fifth and then went on to hurl a perfect sixth inning. Starter Edgar Martinez went 4.1 innings and struck out four. Muckdogs’ closer Evan Braband recorded the save, striking out the side in the ninth. Braband, the Marlins’ 2019 9th round draft pick, has allowed just one hit this season while striking out 11 over six and one third innings pitched. He now has five saves on the season. Josh Simpson, a 32nd round draft pick this year had his third hold as he threw two scoreless innings and struck out four.
Spinners’ right-handed reliever Miguel Suero (0-1) was hit with the loss, pitching two and one third inning, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out one.
Batavia began the game trailing 2-0 after Lowell put up two-runs in the top of the first, but Reynolds’ blast in the bottom half of the frame gave the Muckdogs the lead until the fifth inning. The Spinners struck for two runs during both their half of the fourth and their half of the fifth, giving them a 6-5 lead heading to the bottom half of the inning. Then, Reynolds’ two-run blast during the Muckogs half of the fifth proved to be the difference, while Reynolds’ single in the seventh simply served as insurance.
Coming up: Tonight is Thirsty Thursday as all Labatt’s products are $2. On Friday is Crafty Hour where the large selection of craft beers are just $3. There will be other specials and events during the week. All games are at 7:05 p.m.