BATAVIA, N.Y. -- For only the third time this season, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers hold first place in the New York-Penn League's Pinckney Division.
Using 17 hits and another strong pitching performance, Mahoning Valley routed the Batavia Muckdogs 13-3 Sunday at Dwyer Stadium for their sixth straight victory.
The Scrappers (40-26) are tied for the division lead with the Auburn Doubledays, who lost to Jamestown 6-0 Sunday.
Mahoning Valley has been trying to catch Auburn for most of the season. The only other times the Scrappers held first place were July 8 and Aug. 3.
Ten days remaining
With only 10 days remaining in the regular season, teams are positioning themselves for the playoffs. Of the league's 14 teams, four qualify -- three division winners and a wild-card club. The Scrappers are also tied with Williamsport for the wild-card berth.
A number of players took a leading role in getting the Scrappers into first place.
Left-fielder Mike Conroy, just 19-years old, went 4-for-4 with a triple and four RBIs. Designated hitter Bill Peavey went 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs, while catcher Dave Wallace went 3-for-4 and shortstop Eider Torres went 3-for-5 with an RBI.
The Scrappers' pitching staff impressed again. One game after Brian Slocum tossed eight shutout innings against New Jersey, Michael Rogers (7-3) allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over five innings for the win. The former Oral Roberts University standout struck out six and walked three.
Rogers' effort held up with the relief of Matt Blethen and Todd Culp, who allowed just one hit over the final four innings.
Batavia (28-38) used five pitchers against the Scrappers, with starter Lee Gwaltney (0-2) getting the loss.
Long road trip
The Scrappers play seven more games on the road. After finishing their series with Batavia tonight, they will play three at Auburn and three at Oneonta.
Taking the mound tonight for the Scrappers is Victor Kleine (8-2), who is tied for the league lead in wins. He will oppose Batavia's Erick Arteaga (3-1).
Francisco cf5001Rodriguez ss4010
Torres ss5131Jones 3b3000
Ugawchi pr/ss0100McRoberts lf4000
Wright rf5111Nunez 2b2100
Gomez rf0000Cafiero dh4120
Peavey dh6032Barthelemy 1b3100
Wallace c4230Pratt c4000
Osborn 3b5210Rivera rf4021
Baxter 1b5210Roberson cf4000
E--Torres, Rodriguez, McRoberts, Nunez, Pratt. DP--Mahoning Valley 1. LOB--Mahoning Valley 11, Batavia 6. 3B--Conroy. 2B--Peavey. SF--Francisco. SB--Torres 2. CS--Torres.
Rogers W, 7-3543236
Gwaltney L, 0-2254422
WP--Rogers, Bryant. HBP--by Rogers (Jones), by Busbin (Torres), by Menocal (Wallace). Umpires--Home, Trevor Grieve; bases, Patrick Irish. A--950.