The Scrappers fell behind 7-0 early and never recovered.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers' last two games with the Utica Blue Sox have been a study in contrast.
A 3-1 victory Saturday fueled by pitcher Doug Lantz was followed by a 13-3 loss Sunday at Cafaro Field.
The difference from one game to the next in the Scrappers' four-game series with the Blue Sox is symbolic of the way manager Dave Turgeon's team has played all season.
"It's youth, and I understand that," Turgeon said. "It's frustrating for them because they don't get it sometimes, but I understand it because that's just the way youth is.
"That's why they're here -- because they're not consistent yet."
Trying to move on: Turgeon said he can feel the frustration among his players. All he can do is create a positive working environment on a daily basis.
"We just want to have these guys going in the right direction when they go to the instructional league and then into their first spring training," he said.
Not much went right for the Scrappers (15-37) on Sunday as starting pitcher Luke Field left after 22/3 innings, having allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits.
The most damaging hit Field (3-4) surrendered was a three-run home run by Utica catcher Winton Zapay in the second inning.
After Field hit Zapay the following inning, resulting in a stare-down between the two, Turgeon replaced the right-hander.
Field's early exit broke a streak of three straight games in which he lasted six innings.
"He has not always been a fast starter, but he usually finds his groove by the second or third inning," Turgeon said. "I don't think he found his groove, rhythm and tempo today."
Utica (19-32) didn't let up after the Scrappers' bullpen took over.
"They came back after last night [the Scrappers' 3-1 win] and swung the hell out of the bats, didn't they?" Turgeon said of Utica.
Todd Pennington kept the Blue Sox scoreless for 31/3 innings, but Kevin Martin and Todd Culp each allowed a home run that gave the visitors five more runs.
His opportunity: One of Mahoning Valley's few highlights was the offensive production of left fielder Travis Santini, who doubled and homered in his four at-bats. His two-run home run in the seventh inning cut Utica's lead to 10-3.
A resident of Naples, Fla., Santini played in just his 19th game for the Scrappers.
"He doesn't get a chance to play much," Turgeon said, "so it's nice to see a kid who works hard every day go in there and have a good day."
When asked if it's hard to stay sharp despite not playing all the time, Santini said, "I don't know. I just go out and give it my all every night and hope something good happens."
Other than Santini's effort, the Scrappers' offense never got on track. Utica left-hander Wes McCrotty was responsible for that; at one point, he retired 12 straight batters.
"It seems when [Rickie] Morton and [Miguel] Quintana go, the team goes, and they got pitched pretty tough today," said Turgeon of the duo that combined to go 1-for-8 Sunday.
Soto rf6120Malave cf4000
Clute 2b6001Quintana rf4000
Frazier cf6120Morton 1b4010
Hicks dh6010Bard dh4020
Laidlaw lf2200Peshke 3b4100
Louwsma 1b4433Guglielmelli c2000
Tucker 3b5230Myers c2000
Rundgren ss3224Santini lf4222
Zapay c3113Uegawachi ss3010
E--Field, Guglielmelli, Uegawachi. LOB--Utica 9, Mahoning Valley 4. HR--Zapay, Louwsma, Santini, Rundgren. 2B--Louwsma, Santini. SB--Soto. SF--Rundgren.
McCrotty W, 1-5631104
Field L, 3-42 2-377413
WP--Field 2, Pennington, Martin. HBP--Zapay (by Field). Umpires--Steve McQuaig, home; Eric Eckert, bases. T--2:44. A--4,290.
HOW THEY SCORED
UTICA 1, MAHONING VALLEY 0
Blue Sox: Jose Soto singled to right, advanced to second on an error by pitcher Luke Field. Kris Clute struck out. Charlie Frazier struck out. Soto stole third, came home on an error by catcher Brad Guglielmelli. Scott Hicks singled to right center, Jacob Laidlaw struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 2 errors, 1 left.
UTICA 4, MAHONING VALLEY 0
Blue Sox: Chris Louwsma singled to right, Michael Tucker flied out to center. Rex Rundgren singled to left, Louwsma to second. Winton Zapay homered over the left-field wall, Louwsma, Rundgren scored. Soto lined out to short. Clute flied out to second. 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 left.
UTICA 7, MAHONING VALLEY 1
Blue Sox: Frazier singled to left, Hicks grounded out to first, Frazier to second. Laidlaw walked, Louwsma doubled to right, Frazier scored, Laidlaw to third. Tucker advanced to first on an error by shortstop Bryce Uegawachi. Rundgren lined out to right to sacrifice Laidlaw home, Louwsma to third. Tucker advanced to second on a wild pitch. Zapay was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Todd Pennington pitching. Louwsma scored on a wild pitch, Tucker to third, Zapay to second. Soto struck out. 3 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left.
Scrappers: Travis Santini doubled to left, Bryce Uegawachi advanced to first on a bunt single, Santini to third. Maximo Made singled to center, Santini scored, Uegawachi to second. Dennis Malave flied out to left. Miguel Quintana flied out to center. Rickie Morton flied out to the catcher. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
UTICA 10, MAHONING VALLEY 3
Blue Sox: Laidlaw walked, Louwsma homered over the left-field wall, Laidlaw scored. Tucker singled to center, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Rundgren walked, Zapay lined out to third. Soto singled to right to load the bases. Clute hit into a fielder's choice, Soto out at second, Tucker scored, Rundgren to third. Frazier struck out. 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
Scrappers: Josh Bard singled to left, Chad Peshke hit into a fielder's choice, Bard out at second. Kenton Myers struck out. Santini homered over the left-field wall, Peshke scored. Uegawachi struck out. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left.
UTICA 13, MAHONING VALLEY 3
Blue Sox: Hicks grounded out to first. Laidlaw struck out. Louwsma walked, Tucker singled off the pitcher, Rundgren homered over the left-field wall, Louwsma, Tucker scored. Zapay walked, Soto grounded out to third. 3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.