By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Someone is always watching.
It is a message that Bryce Uegawachi carries with him as a professional baseball player.
When a score becomes lopsided, which happened in the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' 11-7 loss Tuesday to the Jamestown Jammers at Cafaro Field, it is the player's responsibility to remain focused.
"The coaching staff tells us that someone's always watching," said Uegawachi, who doubled twice as a late substitution Tuesday. "And even if they're not, you never know."
Until a ninth-inning rally, the Scrappers' chances looked bleak. They had fallen behind 3-0 after two innings and 11-2 after six. It took an impressive offensive display in the ninth, including a two-run double by Uegawachi, to close the gap.
"At the end of the year, sometimes those hits determine your batting average," said Uegawachi, still speaking about the value of at-bats despite the score.
"[Coaches] have really been honest this year about us not giving away at-bats," he said. "It made sense to me. I had never thought about it like that."
The Scrappers (31-24) knocked Jamestown reliever Tom Crohan around in the ninth inning for four runs on five hits. Crohan (2-1), who allowed six runs on 12 hits, still got the victory in relief of starter Lance Davis.
"These guys battled back," said Willie Aviles, acting manager for Chris Bando, who was at Double-A Akron instructing catcher Victor Martinez.
"They showed the type of character this club has," Aviles added. "I just wish they would have played like that in the beginning."
Mahoning Valley's early pitching struggles set the tone for the game and led to the Scrappers' third straight loss.
Starter Brian Slocum (3-1), who came into the game with a 1.05 ERA, was charged with six runs (four earned) on eight hits in four innings.
"That was one of his first outings when he didn't throw strikes, he kept the ball up a little bit and was falling behind in the count," Aviles said. "You're going to have one of those games. You're not going to always throw the ball like he's been doing in his last outings."
Scrappers reliever Matt Blethen didn't fare well, either. He allowed five runs in 12/3 innings before giving way to Todd Culp and Dan Rich.
"Anywhere you go, you've got to throw strikes and you have to play defense behind you," said Aviles of the Scrappers, who allowed 14 hits and committed two errors. "We let down on defense. You can't afford to make these mistakes."
The Scrappers' offense, which had been powerless in two games against Auburn, had 14 hits against Jamestown (25-28). In addition to Uegawachi's hits, Ben Francisco, Eider Torres, Pat Osborn and Bill Peavey each had two."Things just have to even out," Uegawachi said of baseball's streaks. "I'm sure we'll get going. Just like every team -- they'll be hot and kind of cold. The better teams will have more hot times than cold times."
And players must keep in mind -- all the time -- that someone is always watching.
Reed cf3121Francisco cf4120
Ordorica 3b4023Torres ss5120
Randel ss5110Osborn 3b5112
Rohleder rf2100McDougall dh3010
Ortiz 1b4100Peavey 1b5120
Lepine c5141Haase c4111
Word lf5224Larkin 2b3000
Grzecka dh3210Gomez rf3000
Wyant 2b4221Conroy lf4110
Pucinelli ph/3b1000Baxter pr/dh1001
Laidlaw rf2000Uegawachi 2b2122
Apotheker ph0000Simoneaux rf2011
E--Ortiz, Davis, Larkin, Conroy. DP--Jamestown 1, Mahoning Valley 2. LOB--Jamestown 11, Mahoning Valley 10. HR--Word. 2B--Ordorica, Lepine, Wyant, Torres, Peavey, Uegawachi 2. SF--Reed, Baxter. SB--Word, Francisco.
Crohan W, 2-16126612
Slocum L, 3-1486422
Blethen 1 2-345541
WP--Crohan, Slocum. PB--Lepine. Umpires--Home, Bill Coble; bases, Trevor Grieve T--3:04. A--4,653.
HOW THEY SCORED
JAMESTOWN 3, MAHONING VALLEY 0
Jammers: Olivier Lepine singled to center, Rob Word hit into a fielder's choice, Lepine out at second. Casey Grzecka singled to left, Word to third. Hunter Wyant doubled down the left-field line, Word, Grzecka scored. Eric Reed flied out to center to sacrifice Wyant home. Eric Ordorica singled to center, Kevin Randel flied out to center. 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 1 left.
JAMESTOWN 3, MAHONING VALLEY 1
Jammers: Mike Conroy grounded out back to the pitcher. Ben Francisco singled to right, Eider Torres singled to right, Francisco to third. Pat Osborn hit into a fielder's choice, Torres out at second, Francisco scored. Marshall McDougall grounded out to second. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
JAMESTOWN 6, MAHONING VALLEY 1
Jammers: Word flied out to third. Grzecka walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wyant reached first on an error by the second baseman, Reed singled in the infield to load the bases, Grzecka to third, Wyant to second. Ordorica doubled to center, Grzecka, Wyant, Reed scored. Randel grounded out to first. Andy Rohleder flied out to center. 3 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 left.
JAMESTOWN 7, MAHONING VALLEY 2
Jammers: Daniel Ortiz walked, Lepine singled to left, Ortiz to second. Word singled to right, Ortiz scored, Lepine to second. Grzecka hit into a double play, Word out at second, Grzecka out at first. Wyant walked, Reed lined out to right. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
Scrappers: Conroy singled up the middle, Francisco walked, Torres hit into a double play, Francisco out at second, Torres out at first. Osborn singled in the infield, Conroy scored. McDougall singled in the infield, Osborn to second. Andrew Baxter pinch ran for McDougall. Bill Peavey lined out to center. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
JAMESTOWN 11, MAHONING VALLEY 2
Jammers: Ordorica flied out to right. Randel walked, Rohleder walked, Randel to second. Ortiz struck out. Lepine doubled to right center, Randel scored, Rohleder to third. Word homered over the right center field wall, Rohleder, Lepine scored. Grzecka flied out to center. 4 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left.
JAMESTOWN 11, MAHONING VALLEY 3
Scrappers: Peavey grounded out to short, Jeff Haase flied out to center. Bryce Uegawachi doubled to left, advanced to third on a wild pitch. Neil Simoneaux singled to center, Uegawachi scored. Conroy struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left.
JAMESTOWN 11, MAHONING VALLEY 7
Scrappers: Francisco flied out to center. Torres doubled to right, Osborn singled to left, Torres to third. Baxter flied out to center to sacrifice Torres home. Peavey singled to right, Osborn to third. Haase singled to left, Osborn scored, Peavey to second. Uegawachi doubled to right, Peavey, Haase scored. Simoneaux struck out. 4 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.