Mahoning Valley made it two straight victories over Hudson Valley.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- It's difficult to suggest that a first-inning double play was pivotal in an 11-10 slugfest, but the outcome of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' victory over the Hudson Valley Renegades Saturday was keyed by the early defensive gem.
Scrappers starting pitcher Luke Field gave up a double, a home run, a walk and two singles to the first five Renegades hitters and fell behind 3-0 in the first inning at Cafaro Field.
The sixth hitter, Kevin O'Brien, hit a ground ball right at second-baseman Keith Lillash, who relayed to Jesus Colmenter at shortstop and then on to Rickie Morton at first for the twin killing.
Field (1-3) got out of the inning with another ground ball, and the Mahoning Valley offense got into gear. Without the double play, he could have been knocked out of the game early.
"It was big, definitely," Field said of the double play.
"In the first inning, I was out there kind of struggling and leaving the ball up and they made a great play like that," Field said. "It's clutch."
Twin killings: The Scrappers turned three double plays in the game, including one to end the eighth inning when the Renegades had loaded the bases.
"It certainly stopped the bleeding," Scrappers manager Dave Turgeon said of the first-inning play.
Despite Field's early wildness, the Scrappers got him off the hook in their half of the first.
Morton homered to left-center field to score Miguel Quintana, who had singled, to make it a 3-2 score.
Jonathan Van Every tripled down the right-field line and Angel Bastardo's single tied it 3-3.
"Inning by inning -- you can win it in the first or you can lose it in the first," Field said.
New face: Brian Kirby, who was activated Friday, walked and Francis Finnerty homered to right, scoring Bastardo and Kirby.
When the first-inning carnage was completed, the Scrappers led 6-3.
The offensive attack continued in the second when the Scrappers scored four runs on three hits to take a 10-3 front in front of a crowd of 6,232.
Quintana's double and Kirby's three-run double highlighted the uprising.
Field yielded five runs (three earned) in five innings to get his first win of the season.
"He battled," Turgeon said of Field. "He didn't have his good command, but he has guts.
"Those were three double plays we are supposed to turn," Turgeon said. "They weren't spectacular double plays, but those are the double plays that we look to turn."
Endless offense: Not only did the game feature 21 runs scored, there were 33 hits, including six doubles, two triples and four home runs.
The 10-3 lead nearly disappeared when the Renegades scored seven times between the fifth and eighth innings.
Clinging to an 11-10 lead after eight innings, the Scrappers (8-24) allowed the Renegades (17-14) to load the bases with just one out in the top of the ninth.
But then the fourth Scrapper pitcher of the night, Brian Curtin, got a pair of fly balls to end the threat and earn his first save.
Mike Edwards singled three times to lead the Scrappers, and Quintana, Morton, Bastardo and Finnerty each had two hits.
"As ugly as it got as far as pitches getting elevated, we won the game, we out-slugged them, we hung on at the end," Turgeon said.
Louis DePaula of the Renegades hit for the cycle and drove in three tallies in a 19-hit attack.
HUDSON VALLEYMAHONING VALLEY
Cortez 3b5231Colmenter ss5000
DePaula ss6243Edwards dh5130
Gonzalez dh4210Quintana rf5120
Reece c5131Morton 1b4223
Clark rf5020Van Every cf5211
O'Brien 1b5121Bastardo c4221
Rico cf3012Kirby lf3113
Wolotka lf4000Finnerty 3b4123
Harrison 2b5231Lillash 2b3110
E--Cortez, O'Brien, Finnerty. DP--Mahoning Valley 3, Hudson Valley 1. LOB--Hudson Valley 13, Mahoning Valley 6. HR--DePaula, Harrison, Morton, Finnerty. 3B--DePaula, Van Every. 2B--Cortez, DePaula, Harrison, Quintana, Bastardo, Kirby. SB--Cortez, Rico. SF--Reece.
Vandermeer L, 1-31 2-3910620
Field W, 1-3595342
Curtin S, 1120012
WP--Field, Martin. Umpires--Chris Conroy, home; Steve McMullin, bases. T--3:03. A--6,232.