The Batavia Muckdogs hammered State College Spikes starting pitcher Jonathon Mulford to cruise to a 9-4 win Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Mulford allowed eight runs and 12 hits in three innings to take the loss in his first professional start.
“He battled through three innings, really,” Spikes manager Joe Kruzel said. “He really did — grateful that he got us to the third, so saved some of our bullpen. He could have quit after the first, but he didn’t.”
The right-hander allowed four runs in both the first and third innings. In the first inning, Batavia’s Zach Daly led off with a triple off the right field wall and scored on Thomas Jones’ double off the right-center field wall. Jhonny Santos followed with an RBI double to the right field wall, and a pair of RBI singles capped the inning to make it 4-0.
Mulford allowed more runs in three innings Wednesday than he did last summer in 19 2/3 innings (six runs) in 16 relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League.
Bryce Denton had an RBI double for the Spikes (1-2).
Player of the game
Batavia right fielder Zach Daly: Daly finished 3 for 5, scored two runs and drove in two runs to lead the Muckdogs’ 18-hit night. Daly started the game with a triple and added a double in the sixth.
Batavia’s four-run third inning: The Muckdogs (3-0) started hot to take a 4-0 lead after the first inning, but they put the game out of reach with their second four-run inning in the third. Daly’s two-out, two-run single highlighted the big inning and pushed Batavia ahead 8-0.
“We’ve got to do a better job of not burying ourselves early in the game with big innings,” Kruzel said.
Spikes’ arms on display: State College’s Denton, Dennis Ortega and Mick Fennell each gunned down baserunners Wednesday night.
In the third inning, Denton missed on a diving attempt on a fly ball by Santos in left field but recovered to throw out Santos as he slid into third. With runners on first and second in the third, Ortega — the Spikes’ catcher — snapped a throw to second base to pick off Batavia’s J.C. Millan. Fennell saved a run in the fourth inning with his throw to the plate to get Santos.
Draft pick arrives: Infielder Zach Kirtley was added to the Spikes roster Wednesday. Kirtley was the St. Louis Cardinals’ fifth-round pick in this year’s MLB draft. The St. Mary’s (Calif.) College product hit .292 with five home runs and 42 RBIs in 2017.
Promotions: Outfielder Matt Fiedler and infielder Danny Hudzina were promoted to Single-A Peoria on Wednesday.
Batavia at State College, 7:05 p.m. Thursday: The Spikes continue their series against the Muckdogs, with right-handed pitcher Anthony Shew scheduled to start. Shew made one appearance this season with the Palm Beach Cardinals, allowing five runs in three innings on June 10. Last season, Shew went 0-1 with a 6.66 ERA with Rookie-level Johnson City. Right-hander Hunter Wells will start for Batavia on Thursday.