Scrappers split twinbill with Jammers
Pitching carries team in game one, falters in game two
Jamestown, NY – Following a rain-soaked Tuesday night which saw the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Jamestown Jammers game postponed, the boys picked-up where they left-off in the second inning and the Scrappers prevailed 5-3. In front of a smaller-than-usual crowd, assumedly due to the still-inclement weather and the early start time of 5:05 pm, Mahoning Valley pounded out 12 hits, all singles, and came up with timely hits to best Jamestown.
On Tuesday, prior to the postponement, Mahoning Valley jumped out to an early lead by scoring twice in the top half of the first. Cody Ferrell led off the game with a line drive single and later scored on a Juan Herrera single. Herrera then scored three batters later on a Josh McAdams single. The RBI by McAdams was just his second of the season, but the outfielder has been seeing the ball better as of late, stringing together a modest six-game hit streak. Mahoning Valley’s first four batters reached base in the inning. Following the second inning, the rain picked-up and the game was halted until Wednesday.
Upon the restart, Jamestown tied the game by scoring a run in both the third and fourth innings. The Scrappers then regained the lead in the top of the fifth with two runs of their own and stayed on top for the remainder of the game. In the fifth, Ferrell again reached base to lead off the inning, this time on a bunt single, but failed to score when he was thrown out at home on a Nellie Rodriguez groundball to pitcher Cesar Lopez. Designated hitter Manuel Boscan knocked in both runs in the inning on a single to center field. Mahoning Valley later added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to solidify the victory. Boscan again provided the RBI, scoring Claudio Bautista on a single to left field. For the game, the Scrappers went 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position, an improvement for a team that’s been struggling to score runs.
The pitching again did its part, holding a potent Jamestown lineup to just three runs on six hits. Because of the postponement, starting pitcher Luis Lugo threw just one inning but didn’t allow any runs. Lugo has been terrific so far in 2013, surrendering just one earned run through 16 innings. His ERA now sits at a dazzling 0.56 to go along with a 0.75 WHIP. Right-handed reliever James Stokes hurled two scoreless innings as the game resumed Wednesday, which brought his 2013 ERA to 0.87. Harold Guerrero earned his first victory of the season in his fifth appearance after allowing one run to score. Guerrero battled, but worked his way out of a big jam in the bottom of the fourth. Guerrero walked two in the inning and hit a batter. Ben Heller later closed the door on Jamestown and earned his first save of the year.
For the Mahoning Valley offense, Boscan led the way with two hits and three RBI. Claudio Bautista finished the day with three hits, taking his team-leading batting average to .328. Juan Herrera added a hit and an RBI while scoring two runs. Ferrell, who now has four hits in nine at-bats since being signed as a free agent out of the University of Oklahoma, also added two hits.
For Jamestown, designated hitter Danny Collins hit his fifth home run of the season in the sixth inning and scored two runs. Harold Ramirez hit a triple and finished 1-for-2 with a walk. Cesar Lopez took the loss on the mound, lasting three innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out one.
In the nightcap of Wednesday’s doubleheader, which was only slated for seven innings due to the late start and a travel day following for both teams, the Scrappers dropped the rubber match of the three-game series against the Jammers, losing 7-3. With the loss, the Scrappers fall to 7-10, three games behind first-place Jamestown, with a three-game series with second-place Williamsport Crosscutters looming.
Right hander Caleb Hamrick, an eighth round selection in 2012 out of Cedar Hill High School in Texas, pitched effectively until the fifth, when he allowed four runs (three earned). In the fifth, Hamrick recorded outs against the leadoff hitter and the third hitter of the inning, but allowed two crucial hits to Ramirez and designated-hitter Edwin Espinal. To make matters worse, catcher Ryan Battaglia made a throwing error on a steal attempt by Jeff Roy, allowing Roy to advance to third base. Roy later scored, leading to the unearned run. Relief pitcher Kyle Crockett then allowed the inherited run to score on a Jimmy Rider bunt single. Hamrick finished the day throwing 4 2/3 innings allowing six earned runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three.
The Scrappers scattered eight hits in the shortened game, but were less effective with runners in scoring position compared to the first game of the doubleheader, finishing just 1-for-6 in those situations. Team batting average leader Bautista stayed hot at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 while recording his first triple of the year. Rodriguez, who has also been seeing the ball well, gathering multiple hits in four straight games from June 28th through July 1st, also went 2-for-3 in the game. Tyler Booth, reassuming the leadoff spot in the lineup, added two RBI’s in the game, his second and third of the year. McAdams, a player primarily known for his power potential, stole his team-leading fifth base of the season. McAdams now sits in a tie for third in the league in swiped bags. Battaglia, known more for his defense than his offense, cracked his first home run of the year in the second inning. The RBI was his eighth.
Jamestown starting pitcher Shane Carle, a 10th round selection in the 2012 draft out of Long Beach State University, struggled to get through four innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three. Carle entered the game with a 4.50 ERA with all of his six innings coming in relief work. Relief pitcher Jared Lakind (1-0, 0.00 ERA) threw two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk. Roberto Espinosa closed the door on the Scrappers in the seventh, pitching a scoreless frame while only allowing one hit.
The Jamestown offense gathered nine hits in the seven inning game. Leading the way for the Crosscutters was Espinal, who finished the nightcap going 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Second baseman Jimmy Rider added two hits and three RBI while swiping two bases. Ramirez also tacked-on two hits, both doubles, and added one run, one RBI, and one stolen base. The team finished 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Mahoning Valley will now begin the pivotal three-game series with Williamsport at Eastwood Field. In the opener Thursday, the Scrappers will face Crosscutters right-hander Julio Reyes, who will be making his first start of the 2013 campaign. In relief work, Reyes has allowed seven earned runs through 6 1/3 innings, good for a 9.95 ERA. The starting pitcher for Mahoning Valley has not yet been determined. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., with post-game fireworks to follow.