Scrappers end home series with 6-3 loss
Niles, OH – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers played their final game in the spacious confines of Eastwood Field Friday night, and the home season ended similarly to the way the season played out, as the Scrappers fell to the Auburn Doubledays 6-3.
The defense committed three more errors, a problem that has plagued the unit the entire season, which led to three unearned runs for the Doubledays. Starting pitcher Caleb Hamrick, who has not allowed more than one earned run in any of his past six starts, fell to 2-6 on the year despite throwing five strong innings. Throughout his recent six-game stretch, Hamrick is sporting a 1.69 ERA but has earned just one win. On Friday, the righty allowed three runs, only one of which was earned. He surrendered five hits, all singles, and didn’t walk a batter. In relief, Rafael Homblert struggled in the sixth, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. Manuel Carmona and Harold Guerrero combined to throw three scoreless innings to give the offense a chance, striking out five in the process.
The Mahoning Valley offense was able to produce eight hits, but stranded six runners, five of which were in scoring position. Second baseman Claudio Bautista led the way with two hits, including his team-leading 14th double. He also scored a run. Designated hitter Manuel Boscan had two hits and added his ninth RBI of the year. Right fielder Juan Romero also tacked on two hits and scored a run.
For Auburn, starting pitcher Ryan Ullmann battled through 5 2/3 innings, but ultimately did a good job getting out of trouble. The 30th round selection out of Concordia University allowed multiple base runners in every inning except one, but was able to survive the night allowing just three runs on seven hits and two walks. The righty earned his second win of the 2013 campaign. L.J. Hollins pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief and tallied his fifth save on the year.
Offensively, the Doubledays performed comparably to the Scrappers, but were aided by errors. Auburn had seven hits, one less than Mahoning Valley, and was 2-7 with runners scoring position, slightly worse than their counterparts. But again, the difference was the play of the defenses. James Yezzo led the way for Auburn and was the only hitter with multiple hits. The first baseman finished the day 2-4 with an RBI. Three-hitter Brian Lippincott went 1-4 and launched his seventh home run of the year in the third inning, a two-run shot off of Hamrick. Second baseman Cody Dent also knocked in two runs.
With the loss, Mahoning Valley now sits at 27-42, 17 games out of first place. Auburn improves to 24-46 on the year. The Scrappers finish their 2013 home schedule with a record 15-22 after going 5-5 in their last 10 games at Eastwood Field. Mahoning Valley will now travel to Batavia for a quick two-game set with the Muckdogs. Batavia has gotten the best of the Scrappers thus far in 2013, going 6-2 in the series. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. at Dwyer Stadium.