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Auburn routed the Scrappers 10-1 Monday to take a four-game lead.



Published: Tue, August 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Auburn routed the Scrappers 10-1 Monday to take a four-game lead.

By BRIAN RICHESSON

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

NILES -- Now the test begins.

Are the Mahoning Valley Scrappers resilient? That will be determined in a three-game series with the Jamestown Jammers that begins tonight at Cafaro Field.

The Scrappers were sent reeling by the Auburn Doubledays, who padded their lead in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division with a two-game sweep.

That included Mahoning Valley's 10-1 loss Monday to Auburn, which increased its first-place edge over the Scrappers to four games. It also left the home team's clubhouse quiet afterward.

"The season's winding down," Scrappers second baseman Shaun Larkin said. "We can't hang our heads."

Thinking playoffs

With 22 games remaining, the Pinckney Division race has come down to Auburn and Mahoning Valley. The champion of each division -- McNamara and Stedler divisions included -- earns a playoff berth, with the league's next-best record qualifying as a wild card.

That would have been Mahoning Valley (31-23) prior to Monday's game. Now, the Williamsport Crosscutters (32-22) would qualify.

"Tomorrow's a new day," Scrappers manager Chris Bando said. "That's the great thing about this game. We can go out and score 10 tomorrow and look like we're world beaters again. We'll see how they respond."

The Scrappers didn't look that way over the past two days. Auburn pitching dampened Scrapper bats, allowing six hits in two games, including four Monday.

"Both starting pitchers both nights dominated our lineup," Bando said. "You're not going to win when you score one run in two games."

Chad Pleiness, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, got Sunday's win by allowing two hits in six innings. Monday, 6-foot-5 right-hander Vince Perkins allowed one run on three hits in 51/3 innings.

"[Perkins] throws mid-90s. He throws hard, he's got a hard slider and good changeup," Bando said.

"[Pleiness] threw three pitches over the plate anytime in the count," Bando added. "If you've got command of one pitch, you're pretty good; two pitches, you're darn good; and three pitches in this league, you're going to dominate."

Early lead erased

Mahoning Valley held a 1-0 lead Monday -- on Larkin's sacrifice fly in the second inning -- until the fifth. That's when Auburn scored three runs off of starter Blake Allen (3-4), who pitched well despite the loss.

In seven innings, Allen allowed the three runs on seven hits, with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Auburn (35-19), which finished with 15 hits, broke the game open with a six-run eighth inning against Scrapper relievers Simon Young and Chip Southerland.

"We got hot for a while, but it's caught up to us now," Larkin said. "It's not happening at a good time."

Which makes the next series that much more important.

AUBURNMAHONING VALLEY

abrhbiabrhbi

Hassey ss6122Francisco cf3000

Rivera 2b5011Torres ss4010

Waugh cf4012Osborn 3b4000

Johnston 1b5120Baxter 1b3110

Durazo dh3010Peavey dh4010

Owens rf5120Larkin 2b3001

Porfirio lf4220Gomez rf3000

Siriveaw 3b5222Myers c2000

Blackburn c5222Conroy lf2010

Jimenez pr/dh1100Haase ph/c1000

Totals4310159Totals29141

Auburn000030061--10

Mahoning Valley010000000--1

E--Baxter. LOB--Auburn 9, Mahoning Valley 7. 2B--Conroy, Torres, Hassey 2. SH--Conroy. SF--Larkin. SB--Baxter, Haase.

IPHRERBBSO

Auburn

Perkins W, 3-45 1-331136

Sandoval1 2-300000

Peterson100000

Neylan110001

Mahoning Valley

Allen L, 3-4773327

Young1-324310

Southerland2-332200

White131100

HBP--by Sandoval (Haase). WP--Perkins, Allen, Young, Southerland. PB--Myers. Umpires--Home, Josh Carlyle; bases, Justin Vogle. T--2:45. A--3,208.

HOW THEY SCORED

SECOND INNING

MAHONING VALLEY 1, AUBURN 0

Scrappers: Andrew Baxter singled to left, stole second base. Bill Peavey grounded out to first, Baxter to third. Shaun Larkin flied out to left to sacrifice Baxter home. Hose Gomez grounded out to third. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left.

FIFTH INNING

AUBURN 3, MAHONING VALLEY 1

Doubledays: A.J. Porfirio walked, advanced to second on a passed ball. Nom Siriveaw singled to right, Porfirio to third. Alex Blackburn doubled down the left-field line, Porfirio scored, Siriveaw to third. Brad Hassey grounded out to short, Siriveaw scored, Blackburn to third. Willie Rivera grounded out to third. Jason Waugh singled to left, Blackburn scored. Clint Johnston singled in the infield, Waugh to third. Ernie Durazo grounded out to second. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.

EIGHTH INNING

AUBURN 9, MAHONING VALLEY 1

Doubledays: Johnston singled to right, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Durazo walked, was replaced by pinch runner Rich Jimenez. Justin Owens flied out to left. Porfirio singled in the infield to load the bases, Johnston to third, Jimenez to second. Siriveaw hit into a fielder's choice, Johnston scored on an error by the first baseman, Durazo scored, Porfirio to third. Blackburn singled up the middle, Porfirio scored, Siriveaw to second. Hassey doubled down the left-field line, Siriveaw scored, Blackburn to third. Rivera singled to left, Blackburn scored, Hassey to third. Waugh hit into a fielder's choice, Rivera out at second, Hassey scored. Waugh advanced to second on a wild pitch. Johnston flied out to left. 6 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, 1 left.

NINTH INNING

AUBURN 10, MAHONING VALLEY 1

Doubledays: Jimenez grounded out to short. Owens singled to right, Porfirio singled to right, Owens to third. Siriveaw singled to left, Owens scored, Porfirio to second. Blackburn flied out to second. Hassey flied out to center. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.

richesson@vindy.com




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