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Doubledays vs. Batavia Muckdogs - Brooks

Batavia's Matt Brooks looks on from the on-deck circle against the Doubledays June 29 at Falcon Park. 

AUBURN — Maybe it's the fact that he can sleep in his own bed, or perhaps it's thanks to a dose of his grandmother's pasta. 

When Auburn's own Matt Brooks faces the hometown Doubledays, he thrives. 

Brooks, a second-year player for the Batavia Muckdogs, has consistently been a thorn in the side of Auburn since making his debut in the New York-Penn League to start the 2017 Single A Short-Season. 

His numbers against the Doubledays are superb; in 12 games against Auburn, Brooks is hitting .341 with 10 runs, seven doubles, seven walks, two RBIs and one hit-by-pitch. 

At Falcon Park he's hitting .346, which includes a 4-for-5 day back on June 17. 

When presented with his numbers against his hometown team, Brooks unleashes a grin.

"I think it's just a coincidence. I'm home but it's just another game to me. I lock it in like it's any other game," Brooks said. "I guess it's nice being home and I get to sleep in my own bed and all that when we play here, but I think it's just a coincidence."

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Brooks doesn't deny the comfort level he has at Falcon Park. A 2014 graduate of Auburn High, Brooks is no stranger to the field. The Maroons played most of their home games at Falcon Park during Brooks' sophomore and junior seasons (the ballpark was unavailable his senior year due to construction). 

"I played two years on this field and it was awesome," Brooks said. "Playing defense especially, I know the field pretty well just from high school and playing my whole life at Falcon Park. I have an advantage playing the field for sure."

Generally when the Muckdogs are slated to play in Auburn, the team elects to take the hour-and-a-half trip back and forth every day instead of staying at a local hotel like most visiting teams do. 

But Brooks is an exception. Unlike his teammates, he has a place to stay in town and utilizes the down time to recharge his batteries from the grind of the minor league season. 

Brooks takes every opportunity to do just that, and for good reason. As a 2016 35th-round draft pick by the Miami Marlins, he's now competing with three different draft classes to move up the minor league ranks. His challenge is to remain consistently productive to force the organization to keep him around. 

"I just want to make every opportunity count," Brooks said. "It's my second year here so I've got to keep battling and find my way moving forward. I've just got to keep sticking to my approach and the results will come. I try to battle every at-bat and whatever happens happens. I try to have good at-bats every day. 

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

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