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Doubledays hold off Muckdogs to secure 4-3 win

Doubledays all-star closer David Smith is no stranger to high-leverage situations. Smith’s five saves entering Thursday night’s contest against the Muckdogs led the team, and his sixth was just two outs away with runners at first and third. With ice in his veins and Auburn’s 29th win just two outs away, Smith slammed the door on Batavia’s comeback attempt by forcing a flyout and striking out the last batter of the game on three pitches.

In a game highlighted by the Doubledays’ all-star selections, Auburn (29-22) defeated the Muckdogs (23-28), 4-3, in a nailbiter all the way to the end.

Jackson Stoeckinger continued to impress on the mound after yet another solid outing with the Doubledays. He opened the game by throwing five scoreless innings and now owns a 1.55 ERA since coming to Auburn from Hagerstown earlier this season.

Batavia did manage to push two across in the sixth after Corey Bird – who caught the Auburn defense by surprise by leading off the inning with a bunt single – came around to score on a sacrifice fly. A single by Denis Karas brought in the second run, but a sharp line drive into the glove of Carson Shaddy allowed the Doubledays defense to double off the runner at second to end the inning. Of the six hits that Stoeckinger allowed on the night, four came in the sixth inning.

By the time Batavia got on the scoreboard, however, the Doubledays were already comfortably in the lead with four runs. While Auburn was only able to get a single run – a monstrous Jamori Blash home run – off of Batavia starter Alberto Guerrero, the team hit reliever Tanner Andrews hard and tagged him for three runs in the top of the sixth.

One half of the Doubledays’ six all-stars went back-to-back-to-back to drive in all the runs in the inning, starting with Israel Pineda. Pumbaa lined a single to score Cody Wilson from third, and Jacob Rhinesmith doubled in Pineda after a throwing error advanced him into scoring position. Wasting no time, Pablo O’Connor jumped on the first pitch and recorded a triple on a fly ball to right field to make it a 4-0 game.

Pineda and O’Connor both ended the night with two hits, with leadoff hitter Cody Wilson recording three in five at-bats to raise his batting average to .298. Aaron Barrett took the mound in relief of Stoeckinger and threw a scoreless seventh inning, while David Smith weaved himself out of danger in the ninth to record a six-out save.

The Doubledays will be back in action Friday for the series finale against Batavia at 7:05 PM. Listen LIVE on FingerLakes1.com Radio.

By Chris Valentino Tril

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