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Batavia cruises past Tarp Skunks 8-2

Jamestown Tarp Skunks first baseman Bobby Stang catches a pickoff throw during Wednesday’s PGCBL game against Batavia at Diethrick Park in Jamestown, N.Y. The Muckdogs won 8-2. Times Observer photo by Scott Kindberg

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — It hasn’t been a great week so far for the Jamestown Tarp Skunks.

After starting the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season with wins in four of their first five outings, they suffered their third straight loss Wednesday night, falling to Batavia 8-2 at Diethrick Park.

Justin Austin led the Muckdogs with two triples and a double, and Lucas Lopez (double) and Cooper Romich (double) added two hits apiece in support of winning pitcher Ty Woods (1-0) and three relievers.

The Muckdogs are off to a blistering start as they’ve won eight of their first nine games and sit in first place in the West Division, while Jamestown is 4-4 and tied with Geneva (2-2) in third place.

Still, Tarp Skunks manager Ben Julian isn’t overly concerned.

“Baseball is a game of ups and downs,” he said. “The onus comes down to us at all times. No one can take credit for our success or failure except for us. The buck stops with me. We’ll try and figure this out. I know these guys are very good players and we’re going to be alright. The bottom line is we’ll keep working and we’ll get there.”

Julian’s frustration did boil over, however, in the top of the fourth inning when he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the home-plate umpire with starter Gage Hayes on the mound.

Hayes (2-1), the right-hander from Lake Winnebago, Missouri, was the PGCBL’s Pitcher of the Week last week, but he gave up four runs and five hits and hit five batters before being relieved after five innings.

“The umpire’s zone is the umpire’s zone,” Julian said. “We have to adjust to it and we have to perform.”

Batavia scored three runs in the third inning on Shaun Pope’s two-run single; one in the fourth on Austin’s RBI triple; one in the seventh on Anthony Greco’s RBI single; and three more in the ninth, courtesy of a run-scoring double by Lopez and a two-run double by Romich.

Jamestown, which left the bases loaded in the first and stranded runners at second and third in the second, pushed across both its runs in the sixth on a wild pitch and an RBI double by Aidan Wallace.

Other than that, Woods, Liam Ryan, Michael Pedraza and Josh Livengood proved effective on the mound for the Muckdogs.

“We had opportunities early and we didn’t take advantage of them,” Julian said.

Leo Doyle had two of the Tarp Skunks’ nine hits, while Wallace and DJ Stoianovich both had doubles.

Jamestown will be back in action tonight at Batavia followed by a home game Friday against Geneva.

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