NILES- On a gorgeous night for baseball in Niles, Ohio, the Jamestown Jammers and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers kicked off the 2013 season in front of a near-capacity Eastwood Field.
The Scrappers started the year off on a disappointing note, falling to the Jammers 5-0.
It was missed opportunities in the third and seventh innings that did the Scrappers in and gave them their first loss of the season.
In the third, catcher Martin Cervenka
, a product of the Czech Republic (one of twelve countries represented between the two rosters), started off the inning with his first professional hit in America, smacking a double deep into the corner in left. First baseman Nellie Rodriguez
, out of the same high school as Manny Ramirez
, had a nice hit of his own, and the Scrappers had their first scoring opportunity of the season.
It was all for naught. After right fielder Juan Romero
struck out on a big hack and miss, centerfielder and leadoff man Tyler Booth
tried to bunt Cervenka home, but was thrown out at first. Cervenka, unaware of the bad bunt, started for home, but was thrown out for the unconventional 1-3-2 double play to end the inning.
The seventh started when Scrappers shortstop Juan Herrera
chopped the first pitch of the inning over the head of the third baseman and strolled in to second for a leadoff double. Left fielder Josh McAdams
then made up for his run-scoring error in the top of the inning with an infield single. Catcher Ryan Battaglia
then battled back from a 1-2 count to walk, giving the Scrappers an opportunity with the bases loaded an no outs.
Jammers reliever Lance Breedlove
worked his way out of the massive jam, starting with a pop out to third. Battaglia was then picked off at first base while taking an errant lead.
As the bases loaded opportunity turned into a a two-out disappointment, Cervenka struck out and the Scrappers night was essentially over.
As the 2-0 score indicated, the majority of the game was a pitcher’s duel between Scrappers starter Luis Lugo
and Jammers ace Isaac Sanchez
Both finished the game with incredible numbers.
Of 41 pitches on the night for Lugo, only 5 were balls. He threw a whopping 36 strikes which accounted for 88% of his pitches. He allowed five hits, but walked none.
In his five innings of work, Sanchez didn’t allow a single run or walk, and gave up only three hits. He, like Lugo, dominated the strike zone, throwing 43 strikes on 55 pitches, which is good for 78%.
While posting his spectacular numbers, Lugo got off to a bit of a rough start.
Lugo’s first pitch of the second inning to designated hitter Dan Collins
was rocketed over the Mr. Rooter advertisement in deep left-centerfield, giving the Jammers a 1-0 lead.
For Collins, it was his first hit, RBI, and home run of the year, as well as the Jammers’ first run of the season.
Leading 1-0, thanks to Isaac Sanchez and the bullpen, the Jammers had all the run support they needed.
The Jammers would add four runs between the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, just giving their relievers some unnecessary insurance.
The Scrappers fall to 0-1 on the season, and 0-1 in New York-Penn League action, but can still salvage a series win against the Jammers.
Tomorrow night’s action from Eastwood Field is set to begin at 7:05 pm.