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DOUBLEDAYS WEEKLY

Doubledays Weekly: Auburn posts 4-2 week behind strong defense

Doubledays Opener - 2

Doubledays starting pitcher Dan Johnson delivers against the Geneva Red Wings during the first inning June 5 at Falcon Park. 

As the peak of summer approaches, the Auburn Doubledays have found a groove.

The D'days went 4-2 in their six games last week, and that uptick has Auburn slotted second in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League's Central Division with a 6-6 record through Sunday's action. Auburn now trails Utica by 1 1/2 games for the division lead.

Here are some notes from Auburn's games last week:

DELIGHTFUL DEFENSE

The easiest formula for winning ballgames is with pitching and defense, and the D'days excelled in those areas in their six games last week. Auburn averaged only 2.5 runs against for that stretch of games, a figure inflated by Friday's 8-7 victory over Newark.

The Doubledays had one shutout win — a 4-0 victory over Geneva on Sunday — and were involved in three other games which the defense allowed only one run.

Auburn's defense committed only four errors in those six games, compared to 11 by its opponents.

Auburn has been charged with only 11 errors this season, the lowest mark in the PGCBL.

SPEAKING OF ZEROES

Pitcher Matt Brosky is one of only two pitchers in the PGCBL to maintain a perfect 0.00 ERA (Batavia's Charles Parr is the other). Brosky, an Ohio native playing for Youngstown State, has pitched 11 innings, struck out 11, walked five and allowed six hits. He earned the win on Sunday against Geneva with five shutout innings.

CRUCIAL SPLIT

If the early season is any indication, the D'days could be locked in a battle with Utica this season for the Central crown.

The two teams met in a doubleheader on Thursday after their originally-scheduled Monday game was postponed.

In Game 1, Auburn fell behind 1-0 in the fourth inning, but struck back for three runs on Logan Matson's two-run double and Matt Livingston's (Siena College) RBI single. The D'days added some insurance in the sixth when Dymitri Kanellakis (McHenry County College) scored on a passed ball.

In the seventh, Brandon Matthews (Youngstown State) issued a lead-off walk, but forced three straight outs to end the game and pick up the save.

It took extra innings to decide Game 2, but Auburn was unable to complete the sweep. One of the D'days' few defensive miscues allowed the Blue Sox on base in the eighth, and that runner later came around to score. In a pitchers duel in which the teams combined for only five hits against, that was the difference.

FAMILIAR FOES

While many of the PGCBL's cities have ties to the now-defunct New York-Penn League, none are more recent than that of Auburn and Batavia.

The two teams were left out of Minor League Baseball's reform, and committed to join the PGCBL earlier this year.

On Sunday, the two former NY-PL rivals will meet for the first and only time this season. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Falcon Park.

Sports reporter Justin Ritzel can be reached at 282-2257 or at justin.ritzel@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @CitizenRitz.

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Sports Reporter

Justin Ritzel is a sports reporter for The Citizen. Justin has been covering high school sports and minor league baseball in Cayuga County since 2015.

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