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Auburn, New York

August 15, 2009

Quick daytrip to watch a NY-Penn League game in one of our favorite parks. It had been a couple of seasons since we went to Auburn, but there is something timeless about this place - plus they have Blue Light on tap, so it's all good in my book! Watched most of the game, and then headed to Buffalo Wild Wings in Auburn for a bite to eat before coming back home again.

Doubledays duo steps up in slugfest
By Kristin Kowaleski-Wolford / The Citizen

Saturday, August 15, 2009 11:49 PM EDT
AUBURN - Auburn Doubledays players Markus Brisker and Lance Durham had a pact before the game. Durham informed Brisker, the team's ninth-place batter, that they were going to combine for five hits against the Hudson Valley Renegades at Falcon Park on Saturday night.

Auburn starter Steve Turnbull deals against Hudson Valley at Falcon Park Saturday afternoon. Turnbull gave up four runs in three innings. “Lance came up to me before the game and told me,‘Brisk, you know we're going to have five hits together tonight,'” Brisker said. “So we got four, we came close.”

With two hits each, the duo didn't quite fulfill their quota, but what they combined to do was even better. Auburn's first baseman gave the Doubledays what would be a permanent lead in the sixth inning, and the 18-year-old Brisker slammed four RBIs in the Doubledays' marathon 11-8 win - their second in a row.

“In some small form or fashion, everyone contributed tonight,” Doubledays manager Dennis Holmberg said. “Lance Durham had a nice hit with the bases loaded and Brisker also had a nice night, with the four RBIs.”

Luckily, the two made up most of Auburn's runs as much of its pitching struggled mightily in the 3 hour, 18 minute game - in weather that Holmberg called “Florida State League game weather” with the unforgiving heat and no wind.

“With the way we've been playing, it takes a good offensive outing to win when we give up eight runs,” Holmberg said. “We were scrapping and putting together some nice hits. We did a nice job balancing out some things and played pretty good defense.”

The Doubledays gave up four runs in the second and third innings, while its bullpen chalked up three runs in the final two innings to make the score appear much closer than the game actually was. Though Hudson Valley held the edge in hits 16-12.

“I just noticed that (the Renegades had more hits) before the ninth inning,” Brisker said. “They out-hit us, but we won.”

“That doesn't bother me at all,” Durham said. “That just means we got the timely hits. They hit with guys not on base and we hit with guys on base. Timely hits are the most important, so it's all good.”

A Ryan Goins' sacrifice in the first inning gave Auburn an early lead, but starter Steve Turnbull, normally a bullpen pitcher, gave up the tying run - a Mark Thomas home run - in the second and three more scored in the third. Then the Doubledays got hot. Back-to-back RBIs by Brisker and Chris Hopkins in the fifth inning closed Hudson Valley's lead to one, but the Renegades answered right back. Bennett Davis brought in Mayobanex Acosta in the top of the sixth on a two-out single off of Matt Morgal. Willy Mendez won the first game of the season by facing the next two batters and getting out of the inning.

The Doubledays' offense took it from there, lighting up the scoreboard for five runs in the bottom half of the inning, four off of Jordi Amargos (0-4), who didn't record one inning pitched, but gave up two hits and two walks in the four batters he faced. Yan Gomes brought in Goins for run No. 1, before Durham slammed a two-run double to put Auburn up for good.

“I had the bases loaded,” Durham said. “You know, you want to get the ball to the outfield, you just have to drive. Being down in the game also, I wanted to get some backspin on a fly ball and I happened to find a gap and it worked out real well.”

Brisker and Kevin Nolan drove in the final two scores of the inning.

Sean Ochinko also earned an RBI in the seventh, an insurance run that the Doubledays would need. Up 11-5 at one point, Zach Anderson gave up a Jones' RBI double in the eighth, but Brisker combined with Goins and Ochinko to throw Davis out at home via an exciting 8-6-2 play.

“We had about a cushion of six runs tonight,” Holmberg said. “It's like we're pitching on a thread. But we have to keep giving those guys the ball and keep running them out there.”

Zach Outman also had a rough outing, giving up three hits (two doubles) and two runs in the ninth.

Durham closed the book on the night by getting two outs in a row to end the game.

“It felt good,” Durham said. “The balls came to me and I said, ‘Let's get out of here, it's hot. We have a four-run lead, let's go home and enjoy the victory and come out tomorrow and play good.”

Total Mileage: 178 Miles

Total Miles Travelled:
150,380 Miles!

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