Scrappers swept out of town by pesky Muckdogs
August 24, 2012
For the second straight night, the Scrappers fell in walk-off fashion as the Batavia Muckdogs used a 2-1 extra inning victory to finish off their sweep Thursday night.
Early on, it was an old-fashioned pitchers duel, as both starters were able to keep the opposition in check through four. For the Scrappers, that starter was ace Luis Dejesus. With the trouble the offense has had scoring runs lately, he was the guy they needed on the mound to give them a chance to turn the struggles around. Dejesus did just what he needed early, as he only allowed one hit through the first four innings and didn’t allow a batter to reach second.
Dejesus’ counterpart, starter Tyler Melling, matched him step for step. The Ohio native should have been happy to see the Scrapper offense. Melling faced the Scrappers in his last start, going six innings and allowing only one earned run on four hits.
Melling, like Dejesus, pitched four innings of shutout ball. He did allow a runner to reach second, however, when Robel Garcia ripped his tenth double of the year with two-down in the third. His only damage didn’t come until the fifth, when after back-to back singles from Richard Stock and Evan Frazar to start the inning, Melling allowed a sacrifice fly from Juan Romero to give his opponent their first and only run of the contest.
It was in that same fifth that Dejesus finally allowed a runner to reach second. That happened when David Washington had a rare inside-the-park home run to even the score at one. Dejesus pitched one more inning and finished with the one earned run on only three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Melling would make it through seven with just one earned. Despite both pitching well, they both exited with a no-decision.
Both teams had exactly one chance to score after the fifth. The Scrappers had a chance in the sixth when Joey Wendle singled and advanced to second with two outs. Batavia had a similar chance in the seventh, putting a man on third after a double and wild pitch. Neither capitalized, and the game was destined for extras.
Neither team was able to register a hit in the extra frames until the bottom of the eleventh. Rafael Homblert entered to replace Luis Encarnaction and immediately allowed single to Garret Wittels. Wittels then stole second, giving Batavia a couple chances to push across the winning run with only one out. The next batter did just that, as Patrick Wisdom singled to score Wittels and secure the sweep for the Muckdogs.
The loss puts a damper on what was an otherwise fantastic night of work for the Scrapper pitching staff. After Dejesus left, Scott Peoples and Luis Encarnacion each pitch two innings of scoreless baseball. Unfortunately, that work was overshadowed by the lethargic offense. They had just seven hits on the night and walked only once. What’s worse, they only had four chances with men in scoring position, and couldn’t record a hit in any of those chances.
Homblert took the loss, while reliever Brandon Creath picked up the win. With the loss, the Scrappers find themselves in the middle of a stretch where they’ve lost four straight and seven of eight. They will look to Auburn to provide some better luck, as they continue their road trip against Doubledays Friday.
Matt can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed on Twitter @MMillerBaseball.