Mahoning Valley Scrappers lose to Auburn Doubledays, 2-1
NILES, Ohio – The anticipation was on a rise as fans crowded into the stands waiting anxiously for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers to take the field in a matchup against the Auburn Doubledays.
But the well pitched game ended in a 2-1 loss for Mahoning Valley.
The Scrappers were off to a good start when Auburn's Osvaldo Abreu stepped up to the plate and hit the first pitch to second baseman Ordomar Valdez for an out. That set the tone for what was to be a tough night for both offenses to score runs and manage any real scoring threats.
In the second inning, Jean Valdez for Auburn stepped up and hit one to left field for a double. Cody Gunter stepped up to the plate next and found a hole in right field. Scrappers right fielder D'Vone McClure shagged the ball and threw home. It looked like it was going to be over catcher Martin Cervenka's head, but he instead made an amazing in-the-air catch and runners did not advance. The Scrappers escaped the inning without any further damage.
In the top of the third inning the Scrappers turned an amazing double play with Auburn runners on first and second. The batter, Drew Vettleson, hit a ball to Scrappers shortstop Austin Fisher who covered second then threw to first, getting both outs.
In the bottom of the third Ordomar Valdez finally found a hole in the field for the Scrappers and got two bases with his hit to right field. Though it was an intensely earned two bases as he used his speed to his advantage to slide in as the umpire screamed "safe." His speed helped him once more when Auburn pitcher Jefry Rodriguez overthrew and Valdez ran from third to home for the only Scrappers run of the game.
In the top of the fourth, Garrett Gordon hit a ball to centerfield and Joel Mejia just missed getting the out but did a great job stopping the ball in front of him only giving the runner one base. Mejia did not stop there as the next batter hit pop flies between him and right field. Mejia caught the ball, made the out and threw to first base and got the out that got away, making not only a great double play but also making the crowd go ballistic in the stands.
In the top of the eighth the Scrappers intentionally walked Jose Marmolejos-Diaz, which loaded the bases. Pitcher Dominic Demasi seemed to have a little trouble creating the strikes needed to get the last out but he managed to strike out Cody Gunter.
"That's baseball," coach Greg Hibbard said. "That's what you do. You play the game. We prefer to roll the dice there with two outs."
Either way the damage was done as Auburn pushed a run across, a run which ended up being the difference in the game. DeMasi finished the night throwing two innings and allowed one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three. DeMasi took the loss to drop his record to 0-1.
The Scrappers and Doubledays continue their series on Wednesday night at 7:05pm. The Scrappers will send Sean Brady (0-0) to the mound.