Johnston, Ready lead first-place Batavia Muckdogs to 4-1 win

Batavia Muckdogs pitcher Evan Brabrand has thrown in nine games this season and he is 2-0 with seven saves. He had the win on Monday before 1,139 fans. (Photo courtesy of the Batavia Muckdogs)

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BATAVIA – As a senior at the Air Force Academy in 2018, Nic Ready won the NCAA Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha. Nebraska when he hit a record 55 home runs in three rounds for the title.

During his senior season, he hit .341 with 20 home runs.

A 23rd-round draft pick of the Miami Marlins this year, Ready hit his first professional home run as the Batavia Muckdogs defeated the Mahoning Valley Scrapper, 4-1 on Monday.

Batavia (23-14) is in first place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division.

Ready, who is now hitting .293, had a 3-for-4 day with two runs and his home run gave Batavia a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth with two outs, Troy Johnston a 17th-round pick of the Marlins this year, ripped a 2-RBI double off the right center wall to give Batavia the lead for good.

“I thought it was gone, I did, it was an awesome feeling, you love when you get a ball like that in a situation like that,” said Johnston. “Milton (Smith II) starting it off with a hit (in the eighth), Nic Ready squeaking one through and Andrew Turner got us an insurance run,” said Johnston. “ Hitting is contagious especially with two outs.”

A crowd of 1,139 saw the Muckdogs win on Kids Day.

“The kids were awesome, they were loud, they got after it, I loved it. It was a great atmosphere here in Batavia,” said Johnston.

Batavia has the two top hitters in the NYPL and they both contributed, as J.D. Orr (.368) had a hit and Smith (.352) had a hit and a run. Orr was a 10th round draft pick this year and Smith went in the 22nd round last year to Miami.

Andrew Turner, a 39th round pick in 2018, continued his recent hot streak as he is hitting .329 in his last 10 games and .299 on the season. He had two hits including a RBI double.

On the mound, Evan Brabrand continued his dominating season.

Brabrand, a 9th round pick this year out of Liberty is now 2-0 with 7 saves in nine mound appearances. He has stuck out 14 in 9.2 innings and given up one run for a 0.93 ERA. on Monday, he had one strikeout in 1.1 innings, one hit allowed and no runs.

Starter Easton Lucas had a shut out for the three innings he pitched, struck out four and did not walk a bater. Lucas, a lefty, is a 14th round Marlins draft pick this year out of Pepperdine and he has a 1.69 ERA.

Lefty Dakota Bennett went 4.2 innings, struck out two, gave up two hits and no earned runs.

The pitching is phenomenal, I am just glad I’m on the other side,” said Johnston.

Right after the game, the Muckdogs left for West Virginia for three games with the Black Bears. The Muckdogs are home Friday and Saturday at 7:05 p.m. with Williamsport and Sunday at 5:05 p.m. The game Saturday is sponsored by Tompkins Bank of Castile and free general admission pickets are available at the box office while they last.

Tickets are available at 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.

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