The sounds of barking and yipping filled the ballpark Monday night.
The Batavia Muckdogs, an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, handed the Spikes their first home loss of the season Monday night in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park by a score of 5-3 in front of 507 dogs during Bark in the Park night.
It was a slow start to the game for the Spikes, as the Muckdogs scored two runs in the second inning, and one in both the third and fourth innings to put the Spikes behind 4-0 early.
Those runs remained unanswered until the bottom of the fifth inning, in which the Spikes slashed the Muckdogs’ lead to 4-3.
A mound visit from manager Dave Turgeon marked a change in the game.
In the top of the fourth inning, Turgeon visited the mound where all of the infielders joined.
“I said, ‘hey fellas, we’re in this thing. We stop the bleeding right now, new ball game,” Turgeon said.
Right-handed pitcher Lance Breedlove was called in from the bullpen and took over the fourth inning with the bases loaded, and it was an effective move..
“It’s exactly what happened, to Breedlove’s credit,” Turgeon said.
Breedlove got the third out the Spikes needed to hang on.
“He gave us innings for one, and more than that he gave us good innings,” Turgeon said.
The fifth inning was the start to what seemed like a different game.
First baseman Sammy Gonzalez started off the inning with a single, and it was only the second time a Spike made it to base Monday night.
Catcher Jacob Stallings also singled and Gonzalez scored on the hit, posting the first score of the night for the Spikes.
Third baseman Yhonathan Barrios was walked, and outfielder Walker Gourley singled, loading the bases.
Right fielder Rodarrick Jones earned the Spikes two more runs for the inning.
Despite the turnaround for the Spikes, the Muckdogs would come back to score in the top of the seventh and despite the sloppy play in the first half, the Spikes competed; however, it would not be enough to remain undefeated at home.
No more runs were scored by either team in the last two innings. The Spikes have now lost four of their last five games.
“It just takes time, this thing will come together,” Turgeon said. They’ll figure out who they are. The game revealed what we need to work on. Winning sugar coats things, losing reveals them.”