The former USC player's two-run double to the left-field wall broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Cleveland Indians selected Bill Peavey in the 11th round of the June draft. Today, they must be smiling.
Peavey's performance Thursday in the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' 7-3 victory over New Jersey was a glimpse of his offensive ability at the professional level.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound first baseman put up big offensive numbers at the University of Southern California, but his adjustment to professional baseball, by his own admission, has been difficult and results haven't come as easily.
"You have to have a strong, positive attitude," Peavey said. "Otherwise, you're not going to survive."
Peavey homered, doubled and had six RBIs as he helped the Scrappers win their third straight and move within 1/2 game of Williamsport for the New York-Penn League's wild-card playoff spot.
"This could be a stepping stone. I haven't been hitting my ability the whole year," Peavey said. "I have to build from here. Every night's a new night."
Peavey's hits came at critical times for the Scrappers (37-26).
His two-run double to the left-field wall broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning. Then, his three-run homer to left in the eighth widened the lead after New Jersey cut its deficit to 4-3. He had an RBI groundout in the first.
"That's the first time it's carried well here in a while," said Peavey, a left-handed batter, of his two hits. "I don't know if it was the rain [before the game] or what. It was definitely an odd night here, with the ball carrying that way."
Peavey, who batted .361 with 15 home runs and 71 RBIs at USC last season, said he hasn't been known to hit balls the opposite way. By doing so Thursday, he raised his average to .276 with four homers and 31 RBIs.
"He's been hitting a lot of balls hard at people [this season]," Scrappers manager Chris Bando said. "It's just good to see him starting to hit with some power because that's what he's capable of doing on a regular basis."
Before Peavey stole the show, Scrappers starter Keith Ramsey (5-2) continued to impress on the mound. The left-hander from Los Angeles allowed two runs on six hits in five innings. He had 10 of the Scrappers' 17 strikeouts and walked two before giving way to Michael Hernandez and Kevin Martin.
Ramsey's outing followed a start against Auburn in which he tossed seven shutout innings.
"Keith Ramsey has definitely emerged as a bona fide No. 1 or 2 starter," Bando said.
New Jersey (32-30) scored once against Ramsey in the first inning and then threatened in the second, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Ramsey responded by striking out the side.
"When it's going bad, you need some breaks," said Ramsey, a 10th-round draft pick from the University of Florida.
"A couple of guys chased pitches that were borderline. The umpire may have given me one on the corner," he said. "That's what you need."
Eider Torres added three hits for the Scrappers, while Pat Osborn and Brian Wright had two each.
NEW JERSEYMAHONING VALLEY
Boyer ss5120Francisco cf3010
Vandever rf1000Torres ss5130
Gorecki cf4122Osborn 3b3320
Santor 1b4000Wright rf4221
Hanson 3b3011Peavey 1b4126
Falu dh4000Wallace c4000
Parker c4010Baxter dh4010
Durham 2b4010Larkin 2b3000
Woodrow lf2100Conroy lf3000
E--Parker, Torres, Osborn. DP--none. LOB--Cardinals 9, Scrappers 9. HR--Peavey. 2B--Francisco, Durham, Baxter, Peavey. SH--Vandever 2. SF--Gorecki. SB--Boyer, Torres, Gorecki, Hanson, Baxter, Vandever. CS--Falu.
Withelder L, 0-1222211
Ramsey W, 5-25622210
WP--Ramsey, Coleman. HBP--by Withelder (Francisco), by Coleman (Conroy). Umpires--Home, Matt Kellam; bases, Jason Bradley. T--3:01. A--3,876.
HOW THEY SCORED
MAHONING VALLEY 2, NEW JERSEY 1
Cardinals: Kyle Boyer singled to left, Joey Vandever bunted to sacrifice Boyer to second. Boyer stole third. Reid Gorecki singled to left, Boyer scored. John Santor struck out. Travis Hanson walked, Melvin Falu grounded out to third. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
Scrappers: Ben Francisco doubled to left, Eider Torres singled to center, Francisco thrown out at home. Torres stole second. Pat Osborn walked, Brian Wright singled to right, Torres scored, Osborn to third, Wright to second. Bill Peavey grounded out to second, Osborn scored, Wright to third. Dave Wallace flied out to left. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 2, NEW JERSEY 2
Cardinals: Gorecki singled to left, Santor struck out. Gorecki stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hanson singled to right center, Gorecki scored. Hanson stole second. Falu struck out. Tyler Parker struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 4, NEW JERSEY 2
Scrappers: Torres flied out to center. Osborn singled to right, Wright walked, Osborn to second. Peavey doubled to left, Osborn, Wright scored, Peavey to third on the throw home. Wallace struck out. Andy Baxter flied out to center. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 7, NEW JERSEY 3
Cardinals: Justin Woodrow walked, Boyer singled in the infield, Woodrow to second. Vandever bunted to sacrifice Woodrow to third, Boyer to second and then reached first on an error by the third baseman to load the bases. Gorecki flied out to right to sacrifice Woodrow home, Boyer to third. Santor struck out. Vandever stole second. Hanson grounded out to third. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 left.
Scrappers: Torres flied out to center. Osborn singled to right, advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wright singled in the infield, Osborn to third. Peavey homered over the left-field wall, Osborn, Wright scored. Wallace flied out to center. Baxter struck out. 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 left.