Kime, Scrappers shut down Renegades in 6-1 win
Niles, OH – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers took advantage of early miscues by the Hudson Valley Renegades defense and brought their August winning percentage over .500, scoring a 6-1 victory Saturday night.
Scrappers’ Manager Ted Kubiak continued to stretch out starting pitcher Dace Kime and the righty out of the University of Louisville responded with a strong outing. Kime was able to keep batters off balance and miss bats with his off-speed pitches, resulting in five strikeouts in four innings. His control did waiver at times, however, causing two batters to reach via base-on-balls, but Kime was able to do enough to lock down his first win of the season.
Matt Whitehouse continued his dominance of New York-Penn League hitters, throwing two innings of one-hit ball in relief. The lefty has surrendered just one earned run in 25 1/3 innings this year, and sports a nearly inconceivable 0.36 WHIP.
The Mahoning Valley offense, averaging just a shade under three runs per game in August, fed off of the momentum built on Friday night by pounding out 10 hits. James Roberts led the way with two hits and three RBI’s. He also scored a run. The shortstop raised his average to .309 on the year, good for second on the team.
Team batting average leader Nellie Rodriguez also added two hits and an RBI. Rodriguez raised his average to .312 with the effort. Also contributing were leadoff hitter Joel Mejia, who had an RBI and scored a run, Cody Ferrell, who finished the night 3-3 with two runs scored, and Paul Hendrix, who roped his second triple of the year and added two RBI’s. Mejia and Roberts both stole their first base of the year, respectively.
Hudson Valley starting pitcher Aaron Griffin battled to keep runners from crossing home, but his defense refused to help him out. In the bottom half of the first inning, the Renegades shortstop, catcher, and left-fielder all committed errors, leading to three unearned runs. In the bottom of the fourth, after Griffin had settled in nicely, left-fielder James Harris committed a second error that allowed a fourth unearned run to score. The righty out of Loyola-Marymount finished the night allowing four runs (zero earned) on seven hits and zero walks. He fanned four batters.
The Renegades offense have done well this year producing extra-base hits, and continued to do so Saturday night. With four doubles, and seven hits overall, the offense seemed prime to score. But the team bounced into three double plays and finished 1-7 with runners in scoring position to offset the hits. Three-hitter Darryl George, who is leading the team with .300 batting average, knocked in leadoff man Ariel Soriano for the team’s only run. Soriano, Tyler Young, and John Alexander provided the extra-base hits.
With the victory, Mahoning Valley moves to 22-28 and sits and sits nine games out of first place. Hudson Valley, who sat in first place in the McNamara division just four days ago, is now 2.5 games behind Aberdeen.
The Scrappers will send Cole Sulser to the mound on Sunday looking for the series sweep. Sulser, a 25th round selection out of Dartmouth College, has been exceptional thus far in 2013, but struggled in his last outing. Against the Lowell Spinners on August 6th, the righty lasted just 1 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits and three walks. The outing marked just the second time all year that Sulser walked multiple batters.
For the Renegades, left-hander Ben Griset will toe the rubber looking for his second win of the season. The 13th rounder out of St. Mary’s College sports a 3.54 ERA on the season to go along with a 1.38 WHIP. First pitch is set for 5:05 pm at Eastwood Field.