BATAVIA — Batavia Muckdogs first baseman David Bergin has been patiently waiting for his swing to come around as he platoons with David Washington for a spot in the lineup.
After Monday night’s game with Lowell, it is safe to say his patience has paid off.
Bergin went 3-for-3 with three doubles and four RBIs to pace a 15-hit Muckdogs attack as Batavia rolled passed the Spinners 10-2 in front of a sizable crowd at Dwyer Stadium.
“It was pretty nice,” said Bergin. “I’m finally getting my opportunities and taking advantage of them.”
It was the eighth consecutive win for the Muckdogs, who swept a six-game homestand and have a day off today before they embark on a six-game road trip to Hudson Valley and Aberdeen.
“We’ve caught a couple teams a little flat coming in and that’s what you’re supposed to do against teams that are a little flat,” said Batavia manager Dann Bilardello.
Every Batavia starter had at least one hit and six scored runs as the Muckdogs pounded five Lowell pitchers and scored in every inning from the second to the seventh.
“Overall this was probably our best performance all year,” said Bilardello.
And all that hitting was more than enough support for big left-hander Ben O’Shea.
O’Shea (1-0) didn’t give up a hit until there was one out in the fourth and allowed just three in his six innings of work. He struck out three and walked none as he continued an incredible stretch by the Batavia staff.
“You can talk about a lot of things during this stretch we’ve had but our starting pitching has done a great job,” said Bilardello.
The Muckdogs hurlers now lead the New York-Penn League with an ERA of just 2.60 and have walked just 42 batters in over 207 innings pitched — by far tops in the league.
Until Lowell scored in the seventh inning, the Muckdogs had held the Spinners off of the scoreboard in 23 of the first 24 innings played in the series.
“Our pitching staff is amazing,” said Bergin. “They’ve been pounding the strike zone every single day and we’ve been able to give them runs.”
And as it proved Monday night, the Batavia offense is still a lethal weapon as well.
The Muckdogs pounded out seven extra-base hits and went 8-for-22 with runners in scoring position as they continued to lead the NY-P with a .273 average, 220 hits and 56 doubles.
Breyvic Valera, Patrick Wisdom, Jonathan Keener and Steven Ramos all ripped two hits in the series finale as Batavia improved to 14-8.
“We’ve all been gelling the whole time,” said Bergin of the winning streak. “We’ve just gotten closer and closer as a family and everybody just seems to have fun when we’re here and it’s been a great time so far.”
With the win and Auburn’s loss to Hudson Valley, Batavia is now just one-half game behind the Doubledays in the Pinckney Division.
After a rare failed opportunity in the first, the Muckdogs got rolling in the second when Wisdom, Bergin and Gary Apelian all doubled to make it 2-0.
Batavia got two more in the second on a Wisdom infield single and a Bergin sacrifice fly and the rout was on at 4-0.
A hit-by-pitch, and error, an Alex Mejia single and a Valera sacrifice fly in the fourth put the advantage at 6-0.
“I thought our bats were pretty solid today,” said Bilardello. “We didn’t give any away and that’s a credit to the kids.”
And O’Shea took every advantage of the run support.
He needed just 60 pitches in his six innings of work, including just six in the third and seven in the second and fourth.
O’Shea worked out of mild trouble in the sixth when Williams Jerez reached on an infield single and Aneury Tavarez got aboard when Valera dropped a difficult throw at second on a potential double-play ball.
But O’Shea didn’t panic and set the next three Spinners batters down in order to close out his night to lower his ERA to 2.60.
Bergin then struck again in the bottom of the sixth.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Bergin blasted a Tyler Wilson pitch to the left-centerfield gap to score Jacob Wilson and Matthew Young to give Batavia a 9-0 lead.
“He’s getting the opportunity to do some things,” said Bilardello of Bergin. “It’s good to see him come alive. He swung the bat really well tonight.”
The Spinners finally got on the board in the seventh when David Chester led off the inning with a long home run to left field off of Dillon Nuernberg.
However, when Lowell did have chances they failed to capitalize as the Spinners went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
In the three-game set, the Spinners were just 1-for-24 with runners in scoring position as they lost their 11th in a row and fell to a NY-P-worst 5-17.
Batavia’s Lee Stoppelman pitched another shutout inning the in the eighth and Brandon Creath allowed his first run of the season in the ninth but also struck out the side to close out the Muckdogs stretch of 22 straight days with a game.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had a day off and I can’t wait to get it,” said Bergin.
The hottest team in the league will take today off before traveling to Hudson Valley on Wednesday and Aberdeen on Saturday.
“You don’t want to get too high in this game because this game can knock you down very quickly,” said Bilardello. “Things have been going well but we’ve got a tough road trip ahead of us.”
The Muckdogs will next be at home a week from today when they play host to the Jamestown Jammers.