Mahoning Valley manager Dave Turgeon said the team is struggling at the plate.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- They hit, they ran, they scored and they won.
Jumping on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers early and often Sunday night at Bowman Field, the Williamsport Crosscutters made it look easy by cruising to a 6-1 win over the Cleveland farm hands.
"That is the way it is in the game of baseball when you get behind early," said Scrappers manager Dave Turgeon. "We have been struggling with the bats a little bit, and I think [the Scrappers] got down when we got down five early.
"I think our hitters are lacking a little confidence, and when they got down by five, they realized that we haven't scored five in a while and everybody seemed to wait for the other guy to get it done.
"But those things happen and we just have to come back and keep working hard because most of these guys haven't struggled like this before," Turgeon said. "They went from college stars to struggling now and they have to learn to work their way through it."
Big guns: Doing most of the damage for the Cutters in their two big innings were Domingo Cuello and Jose Bautista with RBI singles in the first and Jorge Cortes with a RBI single in the second.
Williamsport manager Tony Beasley also singled out leadoff hitter Matt Meath who filled in for Chris Duffy and did an outstanding job by getting on base all five times he batted, finishing with a pair of hits and scoring a pair of runs.
"Meath did an outstanding job of filling in for us tonight in center field," Beasley said. "[Chris] Duffy has a little thing with his finger so he couldn't swing the bat very well. He [Meath] got on base every time he batted and that sort of set the tone for us."
It was a case of history repeating itself for starting pitchers Juan Rodriguez of Williamsport and Mahoning Valley's Doug Lantz.
On June 24, the same two squared off with Rodriguez getting the better of it with seven innings of two-hit ball and an 8-0 win. Sunday, Rodriguez (4-0) again went seven innings, allowing just three hits, all singles. The one run he allowed was unearned.
"He [Rodriguez] is really hungry and tonight he was real strong through seven [innings]," Beasley said. "He probably could have gone one more, but I wanted to get our bullpen some work. Right now, we want to get different people some work."
On the other hand: While Rodriguez was having things pretty much his own way, Lantz (0-3) struggled. In his two innings of work, the right-hander was roughed up for five hits and five runs, three of which were earned.
"It didn't look to me like he was ready to pitch," Turgeon said. "Young pitchers have a tendency not to have their routine down. They need to learn what is necessary for them to get ready for a game.
"I noticed tonight that he was ready very, very early. Normally he just comes in, gets a drink and goes out to the mound," Turgeon said. "Tonight, he was ready early and that allowed him to sit around a long time. I don't know if that is what took him out of his rhythm and tempo on the mound, but something was missing."
The same two teams will square off against each other tonight in the third game of the four-game set beginning at 7:05 p.m. The Scrappers will send Luke Field (0-3, 3.96) to the mound, while the Cutters will counter with John Searles (1-3, 7.17).
Malave lf3000Meath cf3220
Thompson lf1000Cuello 2b4012
Colmenter ss4100Cortes lf4022
Quintana rf3010Young 1b5100
Morton dh3021VBnschtr dh4030
Van Every cf4000Bautista 3b3011
Bastardo c3000Aliendo rf4000
Gay 1b4000Myler c4110
Finnerty 3b3000Asprilla ss4220
E--Gay 2, Finnerty, Asprilla. DP--Mahoning Valley 1, Williamsport 1. LOB--Mahoning Valley 6, Williamsport 10. 2B--Cortes, VanBenschoter. SB--Meath, Bautista. CS--Cuello, VanBenschoter.
Lantz L, 0-3265211
Rodriguez W, 4-0731004
WP--Rodriguez. HBP--Meath (by Lantz). PB--Bastardo. Umpires--Plate, McCreary; Bases, Rice. T--2:30. A--1,345.
HOW THEY SCOREDFIRST INNINGCROSSCUTTERS 2, SCRAPPERS 0
Crosscutters: Matt Meath walked on four pitches, went to second on a passed ball charged to Angel Bastardo and scored on Domingo Cuello's RBI single to right. With two outs, Junior Young reached on a two-base error, went to third on John Van Benschoten's single to short right and scored on Jose Bautista's RBI single to right.
SECOND INNINGCROSSCUTTERS 5, SCRAPPERS 0
Crosscutters: Jon Myler and Avalino Asprilla singled to right and Meath was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Myler scored on a fielder's choice RBI ground out by Cuello, Asprilla following Myler across the plate on a throwing error by Curtis Gay, Meath moving to third. Meath scored on a RBI single to right by Jorge Cortes.
FOURTH INNINGCROSSCUTTERS 6, SCRAPPERS 1
Scrappers: Jesus Colmenter reached on a two-base throwing error by Crosscutter shortstop Asprilla, went to third on a ground out by Miguel Quintana and scored on Rickie Morton's RBI single to center.
Crosscutters: Asprilla singled to deep short, went to second on Meath's single to right and scored on Cortes' RBI double off Gay's glove.