Mahoning Valley blanked Batavia 9-0 with a six-run third inning rally.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers snapped a three-game losing streak with a helping hand and a balanced attack.
The Scrappers were handed three runs in a six-run third inning Saturday en route to a 9-0 victory over the Batavia Muckdogs at Cafaro Field.
With the bases loaded, Batavia starting pitcher Nick Bourgeois hit Jonathan Van Every and walked Brian Wright and Jeff Haase to give the Scrappers a 3-0 lead.
Pat Osborn's RBI single and David Wallace's two-run double capped an inning in which the Scrappers sent 10 batters to the plate.
The victory helped the Scrappers to erase memories of the three-game sweep by the Vermont Expos in the last three days. It also moved them above .500 (13-12) in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.
Entering Saturday's game, Mahoning Valley, Batavia and Jamestown each had 12-12 records, two games back of first-place Auburn.
An inning after the Scrappers took their comfortable lead, center-fielder Ben Francisco doubled to extend his hitting streak to 12 consecutive games.
Francisco, who played at UCLA last season, was signed by the Indians on June 22 and has flourished since.
He came into Saturday's game batting .422 (19-for-45) and went 1-for-5 against the Muckdogs.
The fourth inning also featured a two-run single by Jeff Haase for an 8-0 lead. Haase doubled home the ninth run in the seventh for his fourth RBI of the game.
Lost in Mahoning Valley's eight-run, two-inning outburst was the effort of starting pitcher Michael Rogers (2-1).
Batavia put runners in scoring position in the first and third innings, but Rogers kept them from reaching home.
Rogers also took advantage of his run support and pitched effectively with the lead, retiring the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings.
He didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning when Ryan Barthelemy singled in the infield. Rogers, who struck out five and walked four, was relieved by Michael Hernandez with two outs.
Hernandez pitched the final 31/3 innings to complete the two-hit shutout.
Error helps Scrappers
The Scrappers may have benefited most in their six-run third inning by an error on right-fielder Chris Roberson.
With Angel Abreu on first and Neil Simoneaux on second, Francisco lashed a ball at Roberson.
The outfielder quickly gloved the ball, but it popped out and fell to the ground, loading the bases.
Van Every came to the plate and brought the crowd to life.
He sent a line drive onto the roof of the Scrappers clubhouse, but just foul. The Scrappers' scoring began with Van Every being hit by Bourgeois.
Willie Upshaw, the roving hitting coordinator for the Cleveland Indians, was in the Scrappers' dugout Saturday assisting the coaching staff. ... The Scrappers added infielder Neil Simoneaux to their roster this week.
Simoneaux, 22, was acquired by the Indians through a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Nerio Rodriguez.
Simoneaux, of Lake Charles, La., played last season for Class A Johnson City, batting .203 with two home runs and five RBIs in 49 games. ... Scrappers outfielder Jonathan Van Every entered Saturday's game ranked third in the New York-Penn League with four home runs. ... The Scrappers will continue their homestand against Batavia today at 2:05 p.m. and Monday at 7:05 p.m. Scheduled pitching match-ups include the Scrappers' Keith Ramsey (1-1) vs. Erick Arteaga (1-0) today and Victor Kleine (2-1) vs. Carlos Cabrera (4-0) on Monday.
HOW THEY SCORED
MAHONING VALLEY 6, BATAVIA 0
Scrappers: Nick Bourgeois pitching. Neil Simoneaux walked, Angel Abreu singled to right, Simoneaux to second. Ben Francisco reached on an error by the right-fielder to load the bases. Jonathan Van Every hit by pitch, Simoneaux scored, Abreu to third, Francisco to second. Brian Wright walked, Abreu scored, Francisco to third, Van Every to second. Jeff Haase walked, Francisco scored, Van Every to third, Wright to second. Bill Peavey struck out. Beau Richardson pitching. Pat Osborn singled to left, Van Every scored, Wright thrown out at home, Haase to third, Osborn to second. David Wallace doubled to the left center field gap, Haase, Osborn scored. Simoneaux struck out. 6 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 0 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 8, BATAVIA 0
Scrappers: Richardson pitching. Abreu singled to left, thrown out trying to reach second. Francisco doubled down the left-field line. Van Every walked, Francisco to second. Francisco stole third, Van Every stole second. Wright struck out. Haase singled to left, Francisco, Van Every scored. Peavey grounded out to second. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 9, BATAVIA 0
Scrappers: Victor Menocal pitching. Wright singled to left, went to second on an error by the left-fielder. Wright replaced by pinch-runner Mike Conroy. Haase doubled into the right center field gap, Conroy scored. Peavey flied out to second. Osborn grounded out to third. Wallace struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 left.