Muckdogs Opener Tonight
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Muckdogs Opener Tonight

Jun 18, 2012

BATAVIA — The Batavia Muckdogs will host the Auburn Doubledays tonight at Dwyer Stadium to open their 2012 season.

Game time is 7:05 p.m.

The Daily News is sponsoring tonight’s contest. The first 1,500 fans attending will receive a magnet schedule of the entire 2012 schedule.

The Daily News will also continue to sponsor Muckdog Mondays. Every Monday home game, fans can receive a $1 discount off a general admission ticket when they redeem a coupon that runs in the Saturday edition of the newspaper.

There will also be a pregame concert featuring Papa and Mama Root, which is presented by Tim Horton’s of Batavia and New Buffalo Impact. Tim Horton’s and New Buffalo Impact will also sponsor pre-game concerts for every Saturday home game. All performances are at 6 p.m. and are weather permitting.

Tuesday home games this season feature a new addition to the lineup. This year, New York’s 529 College Savings Program presents Kids’ Tuesday Night Tickets. Every Tuesday home game, the first 50 kids accompanied by an adult will receive a free general admission ticket.

The Family Four Pack will take place on every Wednesday during the 2012 season and is presented by M&T Bank. Fans can purchase four general admission tickets, four hot dogs, four 12-ounce sodas and a 2012 program for only $30, a savings of $14.

On Thursday nights, The Williams Law Firm will once again sponsor the Kids Eat Free promotion. At every Thursday home game, the first 100 kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda and snack item.

Fireworks will again light up the sky after every Friday night game at Dwyer Stadium, as well as on the annual Independence Day celebration on July 4.

At Sunday home games, kids can run the bases with Homer after the game courtesy of Denny’s of Batavia. Every child that runs the bases will receive a coupon for a free Kids Meal at Denny’s.

Bilardello back

Dann Bilardello is back for his third season as manager of the Muckdogs. The 52-year-old Bilardello has compiled a record of 82-67 during his two years in Batavia and led the Muckdogs to the Pinckney Division title in 2010.

Prior to managing the Muckdogs, Bilardello was the St. Louis Cardinals minor league catching coordinator for three seasons. The former major league catcher also has four years of minor league managing experience in the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations.

Bilardello managed the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the Carolina League during the 2005 season. Before that, he spent three years managing for the Dodgers in Great Falls of the Pioneer League starting in 2002 and the following two years with Columbus in the South Atlantic League. He led Great Falls to a Pioneer League championship in 2002 with a record of 47-28 and 4-1 in the playoffs.

The Vero Beach, Fla., resident played all or part of eight major league seasons as a catcher with Cincinnati (1983-85), Montreal (1986), Pittsburgh (1989-90) and San Diego (1991-92). In 382 major league games, he batted .204 with 18 home runs and 91 RBIs.

Joining Bilardello in the dugout will be hitting coach Roger LaFrancois and pitching coach Dernier Orozco.

LaFrancois, 55, is also back for his third season as the Muckdogs hitting coach and has more than 20 years of coaching experience. LaFrancois has coached or managed at all levels of the minor leagues with several different major league organizations.

A catcher in the Boston Red Sox organization, he spent eight years with the Sox, and saw action in the majors during the 1982 season. The Old Saybrook, Conn., resident has been a partner and director of the World Baseball Coaches Convention since 2003.

Dernier Orozco, 29, will begin his first season as the Muckdogs pitching coach, after serving as the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in 2011. This will be Orozco’s seventh season as a pitching coach in the Cardinals system. Before his stint in the Gulf Coast League, Orozco spent four years coaching in the Venezuelan League from 2006-2008 and again in 2010. Orozco played six professional seasons as a right-handed pitcher in the Boston Red Sox organization.

Mike Petrarca will serve as the trainer for the 2012 season, his second with the Muckdogs. Petrarca will be entering his fifth season in the Cardinals organization.

Auburn opens campaign

The Muckdogs and Doubledays will square off in the first four games of the season. Tonight’s game and Wednesday’s contest are at Dwyer, with Tuesday’s and Thursday’s games at Falcon Park in Auburn.

The Doubledays are managed by Gary Cathcart.

The Muckdogs have four six-game homestands this season. Batavia hosts Connecticut (July 4-6) and Lowell (July 7-9) in its first six-game set. Brooklyn (July 25-27) and Staten Island (July 28-30) are here for another six-game set to end the month.

State College (Aug. 7-8), Mahoning Valley (Aug. 9-10) and Williamsport (Aug. 11-12) are in town for another six-game set early in August, while Mahoning Valley (Aug. 21-23) and Williamsport (Aug. 24-26) are back again later in August.

The season ends Sept. 5 at Jamestown.

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