WILLIAMSPORT - Coming home from a disappointing 2-4 road trip to Lowell and Hudson Valley, Williamsport was hoping for better fortunes when they took the field at Bowman Field.
However, unfortunately for the Cutters, Batavia would have nothing to do with the idea as they swept the Cutters by scores of 5-2 and 4-1 before 1,192 fans at the ball park.
"You are always looking for better results," said Cutters manager Shawn Williams. "You just want to see your guys play well and although we didn't get the results we might have wanted, I thought the intensity was there. The guys were having good at-bats and the thing I like to see is there is no quit."
The Muckdogs scored a run in the top of the first inning of the opener and while the Cutters were busy stranding five runners through the first three innings, the 1-0 lead held up until Batavia put together a little two-out lightning in the fifth to make it 4-0 Muckdogs.
"In that situation you don't even need a base hit to get the guy in," said Williams. "You would like to see them just get one run in there, maybe two and hopefully more, but that is all part of the game. We practice those things every day and they are not going to be able to come through all the time. You just hope to keep having those situations so they are able to get better and eventually be able to succeed."
With two outs, Cutter starter Feliberto Sanchez surrendered a single to Rodrigo Vigil before he plunked Iramis Oliverencia with a pitch.
Taking advantage of the mistake by Sanchez, Mason Davis ripped a triple to deep center, chasing Vigil and Oliverencia across the dish. When the relay throw was mishandled in the outfield, Davis sprinted home with the fourth Muckdog run.
For the Muckdogs, Michael Mader worked a strong five innings to pick up the win, the lefty allowing no runs on three hits, striking out three and walking one. He hit one Cutter batter before he completed his five innings by retiring nine Williamsport batters in a row.
Batavia added another run in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead before the Cutters avoided a shutout with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning.
Taking advantage of Muckdog reliever Roman Oviado's wildness, Rhys Hoskins reached on a fielder's choice, Wilmer Oberto walked and Robinson Torres was hit by a pitch.
Wasting no time, Sean McHugh picked on the second offering by reliever Josh Hodges when he ripped a two-run double just inside the left field foul line, chasing Hoskins and Oberto across the plate.
Despite giving up the two-run double, Hodges retired the last four Cutter hitters he faced to pick up the save, his fourth of the season.
Just as the Muckdogs had done in the opener, the Cutters jumped out on top with a run in the first inning. With one out, Jiandido Tromp singled to center, went to third on a single by Wilson Garcia and scored on Hoskins' RBI fielder's choice.
On the heels of Cutter starting pitcher Alejandro Arteaga's efforts of working around a two-out double in the second and a leadoff single in the third, the Muckdogs caught up to Arteaga in the fourth to score three runs.
After needing only 30 pitches to complete the first three innings, Arteaga needed 33 pitches to complete the fourth.
"I think it was just a case of him getting some pitches up in the zone," said Williams. "Early on he was making the adjustment to keep it down. Many times you are able to get away with them (pitches up) but for him, tonight wasn't one of those times."
Wilbert Pujols led off with a bunt single, Carlos Duran worked Arteaga for a free pass and Kevin Grove made it 2-1 Batavia when he belted a long double of the boards in center field.
With one out, Grove moved to third on a Cutter error and scored on a line drive single to right by Hiram Martinez before Batavia scored its fourth and final run in the sixth for a 4-1 lead.
The Cutters didn't go quietly in the seventh inning as they loaded the bases with one out, but couldn't get the hit to drive in any runs.
"We loaded the bases with one out and had the winning run at the plate," said Williams. "Of course you like to see wins, but I like the fight in the kids and they are not giving up."
For the Muckdogs, Scott Squier worked the first five innings to pick up the win. The lefty allowed one run on three hits, striking out five while not issuing a single free pass.
The two teams will conclude the 3-game series tonight at Bowman Field with a single game beginning at 7:05 p.m.