SCRAPPERS NOTEBOOK| From Cafaro Field
Opening day: Friday's game was delayed 10 minutes because the grounds crew forgot to paint the 45-foot line along the first-base path.
New voice: Taking over the public address announcing duties is Ed Byers of Howland. He replaces Chad Krispinsky, a Youngstown native who handled the job in the Scrappers' first three seasons. Krispinsky now does play-by-play for WNIO-AM (1390).
Weather: Nearly 45 minutes before game time, swirling winds encompassed Cafaro Field. Dark clouds moved into the Niles area around 6:45. But the storms that hit the Cleveland area late in the afternoon didn't affect the Scrappers' home opener.
Ranking: It was no secret that Mahoning Valley's offense had struggled heading into the home opener. The Scrappers hit .126 in their season-opening road trip to Auburn; that average ranked second-to-last in the 14-team New York-Penn League. The Scrappers totaled 12 hits in three games, four each night. Meanwhile, the team's ERA didn't fare any better in Auburn, with a 4.44 ERA, second worst in the league.
Hot bat: Batavia second baseman Nielsen Abreu came into the weekend series with an .800 batting average (4-for-5).
Ouch: A scary moment occurred in the third inning when Scrappers batter Jonathan Van Every lined a hard shot off the back of Batavia pitcher Whit Bryant. Bryant was able to make the throw to first but not in time. After the throw, he fell to the ground and rolled around in agony. Batavia's trainer sprinted out of the dugout. Bryant was able to continue after several minutes.
Records: Going into the weekend, the Scrappers had a 60-54 record at Cafaro Field, 13-25 during the 2001 season. Against Batavia, Mahoning Valley held a 13-18 mark.
Schedule: The home opener Friday commenced a streak of eight straight games at Cafaro Field. The Scrappers face Batavia tonight and Sunday afternoon, then play a two-game series against the Auburn Doubledays and a three-game series against the Hudson Valley Renegades. Game time is 7 p.m. each day, except for Sunday's 2 p.m. start.
-- Brian Richesson