Starting pitcher Victor Kleine gave up three runs in the first five innings.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- And the bat goes on as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Williamsport Crosscutters are teams headed in opposite directions.
After Williamsport's 5-1 victory Tuesday at Bowman Field, the first-place Crosscutters improved to 6-0 against the Scrappers this season.
On the other hand, the Scrappers have lost eight in a row and are anchored in the cellar of the Pinckney-Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League.
"You can keep telling them to keep their heads up and keep swinging because the worm is going to turn, but as of now, it hasn't really turned for us," Scrappers manager Dave Turgeon said.
"Every ball we hit seems to be right at them, but the key is to keep swinging because if you lay down, you are done," Turgeon said. "Our job as a staff is to keep these guys going no matter what and we will do that."
Pitcher's duel: With two pitchers sporting combined records of 4-1 and a combined ERA of less than 3.00, a pitcher's duel was no surprise. The Scrappers' Victor Kleine (2-0, 2.63) and the Crosscutters' Ian Oquendo (2-1, 3.29) delivered.
Oquendo emerged as the winner while Kleine made an early departure and absorbed his second loss.
Oquendo went seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits. The right-hander struck out eight and didn't walk a Scrappers hitter.
"It was fun to watch," said Williamsport skipper Tony Beasley. "He gets the ball, gets the sign and he is ready to throw the ball.
"He gets into a good rhythm and that keeps the defense on its toes. He throws a lot of strikes and that is the key," Beasley said. "If you get ahead in the count, you can make hitters hit themselves out. Get ahead in counts and [you can] put guys away with some breaking balls.
"That is what he does and I am very pleased with the way he goes about his business."
Kleine worked 41/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs. He walked three and struck out a pair.
"He pitched on guts tonight," Turgeon said. "He didn't have his good stuff, or even his mediocre stuff, but for me, it was a quality start because he kept us in the ball game.
"For me, when they go out there and get outs without their best stuff, that is a good learning experience because that is what pitching is all about," Turgeon said.
Oops! With the Crosscutters leading 3-0, the floodgates were opened in the sixth inning when the Scrappers committed three straight errors.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Crosscutters scored a pair of runs.
"No question that those plays were anything but routine, but we just didn't make them," Turgeon said. "I think what affected [shortstop] Jesus [Colmenter] is that he just had one go by his head for a bad-hop single and he might have been a little gunshy.
"But he is a very good shortstop, he usually makes those plays and he will be in there [tonight]."
The Scrappers open a two-game set tonight in Batavia against the Muckdogs. Nicholas Moran (2-0, 2.63) will start for Mahoning Valley.
HOW THEY SCORED
CROSSCUTTERS 2, SCRAPPERS 0
Crosscutters: Matt Meath beat out an infield single and scored when Jon VanBenschoten lofted an RBI double to center in front of a diving Jonathan Van Every. VanBenschoten scored on a RBI single to center by Walter Young.
CROSSCUTTERS 3, SCRAPPERS 0
Crosscutters: Domingo Cuello singled to deep short and VanBenschoten walked. Cuello scored on Jose Bautista's RBI single to right.
CROSSCUTTERS 5, SCRAPPERS 0
Crosscutters: Rajai Davis, Arelino Asprilla and Meath all reached on three straight errors. Domingo scored Davis and Asprilla with a two-run single to right.
CROSSCUTTERS 5, SCRAPPERS 1
Scrappers: Keith Lillash singled to left, went to second when Dennis Malave reached on a Cutters' error, moved to third when Miguel Quintana walked and scored on a bases-loaded walk to Rickie Morton.
Malave lf4010Meath cf4120
Colmenter ss4000Cuello 2b5122
Quintana rf3010VanBnschtr dh4121
Morton 1b3001Young 1b4011
Van Every cf4000Bautista 3b4011
Bastardo c4010Myler c3000
Gay dh4000Cabrera rf4010
Finnerty 3b4000Davis lf3110
Lillash 2b3110Asprilla ss4100
E--Colmenter 4, Finnerty, Lillash, Young, Asprilla. LOB--Mahoning Valley 7, Williamsport 10. 2B--Malave, Bastardo, VanBenschoten. DP--Mahoning Valley 1.
Kleine, L 4 1-373332
Clark, S1 1-300002
Umpires--Home, Brett McCrery; first, Brent Rice. T--2:30. A--1,237.