Scrappers pounded by Crosscutters, 10-5
Williamsport, PA - The Mahoning Valley Scrapper’s seesaw season continued on Friday night, losing to the Williamsport Crosscutters 10-5.
The Scrappers have now alternated wins and losses throughout their past seven games, unable to gain any momentum due in part to inconsistency at the plate. Or rather, consistently poor play at the plate, resulting in 40 runs in the team’s first 12 games, just 3.33 runs per game. More than half of those runs came in a two-game stretch on June 19th and June 20th.
Prior to Friday’s game, Mahoning Valley had not scored more than four runs in a game since June 20th, a stretch encompassing eight games. But the pitching has kept the Scrappers afloat over the first two weeks of the season, sporting a league best 2.03 ERA entering Friday’s game.
Mahoning Valley’s starting pitcher Caleb Hamrick (1-2, 3.86 ERA) had been great through his first two starts, but struggled mightily on Friday. Williamsport, who entered the game leading the league in slugging percentage and tied for the league lead in home runs, had their way with Hamrick, hitting two home runs in the third inning to break open the game. Hamrick exited early in this one, lasting four innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one. His ERA jumped from 0.90 to 3.86 after the loss.
The bullpen pitched sufficiently, but wasn’t as sharp as in previous outings. Alexis Paredes pitched two hitless, scoreless innings, but Rafael Holmblert and Joshua Nervis combined to give up three runs on four hits and two walks.
The Scrappers bats fared well on Friday, recording their second-highest hit-total of the season. Juan Herrera led the way with three hits, two of which were doubles, while registering one run and RBI apiece. Nellie Rodriguez, who entered the game hitting just .171, went 2-for-5 with two RBI’s and one run scored. Robel Garcia also added two hits while scoring two runs, and Joshua McAdams finished 2-for-4 at the plate.
Mahoning Valley finished the evening 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners on base.
The Williamsport offense equaled Mahoning Valley’s hit total, but stranded fewer runners and performed better in crucial moments at the plate. The Crosscutters went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded only six runners.
The two home runs were hit by Dylan Cozens, his first of the year, and Gabriel Lino, his second of the year. Leadoff-hitter Gustavo Martinez finished 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and a run scored. Zach Green, who entered the game seventh in the New York-Penn League with a .342 batting average, added a hit and two runs scored. Designated-hitter Andrew Knapp also had a productive night at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and his first stolen base of the year.
Toeing the rubber for the Scrappers on Saturday will be Robert Whitenack, who enters the game with a 3.12 ERA and a record of 0-1. Josh Warner will take the hill for the Crosscutters, looking for his second win of the young season. Warner enters the game with an ERA of 4.50. First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm.