NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE Scrappers in hunt for wild card
After beating Batavia, Mahoning Valley is 30-28 in the Pinckney Division.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers continued their run at a wild card playoff berth with a 6-4 win over Batavia at Eastwood Field.
The Scrappers (30-28) won their fourth straight contest and eight of their last nine games to pull within one game of the wild card in the New York-Penn League standings.
Mahoning Valley rallied with three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie.
Brett Parker opened the inning by reaching first on a throwing error on Batavia's third baseman. After the Muckdogs got the next two outs, Argenis Reyes infield single scored Parker to break the tie.
Brian Finegan followed with a double to chase home Reyes and the Scrappers' shortstop scored on an error by Batavia's first baseman on a ball hit by Chris Gimenez.
"They helped us out a little bit tonight makin' some errors," said Scrapper coach Mike Sarbaugh. "But I think we played pretty good baseball."
The Scrappers took advantage of five Batavia errors, which led to five unearned runs in the game.
Defensively, Mahoning Valley got strong efforts from four pitchers and some timely defensive plays to thwart the Muckdogs.
Matt Knox (3-2) got the win in relief of starter Tony Sipp by pitching two innings and allowing just one unearned run.
Sipp pitched the first five innings and allowed three runs but he struck out eight more batters. On the season, Sipp has a team-high 46 strikeouts in just 282/3 innings.
Pitchers doing job
Mahoning Valley pitchers struck out 14 Batavia batters.
Mark Harris came on in the ninth to record his 11th save with a 1-2-3 inning.
"During the streak the bullpen has been doing a great job for us," Sarbaugh said. "You can't ask for much more than the pitching staff has been doing."
Batavia took an early two-run lead in the first inning but the Scrappers got back a run in their half of the first on a single and stolen base by leadoff batter Reyes. Gimenez drove in his first run of the game with a single.
Giminez doubled in the two-run fifth that enabled the Scrappers to tie the game at 3-3. His two-bagger scored Finegan who reached on an error. Gimenez then scored on a double by Wyatt Toregas.
Fine final innings
After taking the lead in the sixth, the Muckdogs got an unearned run in the seventh before Scott Roehl pitched a scoreless eighth and Harris a perfect ninth inning.
Sarbaugh said the fifth inning rally to tie the game was the turning point for his team to continue its winning ways.
"That inning was huge," Sarbaugh said. "The way things have been going of late we never die. We always have a chance.
"Being down two runs I feel comfortable that we're going to score runs and I think that is how the club feels," he said.
Gamble dh2001Reyes cf5221
Hardy ss4000Finegan ss5211
Jaramillo c4110Gimenez 3b5122
Frith cf4110Butia lf3010
Isaacson 2b4022Toregas c4021
Shimer rf4000Montgmry lf3000
Crosland lf3100Parker 2b4110
Galloway 1b4110Pacheo 1b 4000
Orr 3b4010Encarnacion rf4000
E--Hardy 15, Frith 3, Isaccson 12, Galloway 5, Orr 17, Gimenez 6, Parker 17. LOB--Scrappers 9, Batavia 5. 2B--Frith, Galloway, Finegan, Gimenez, Toregas, Parker. SH--Gamble. SB--Crosland, Reyes. CS--Isaccson.
Baldwin L, 4-45 2-386112
Knox W, 3-2210013
Harris S, 11100002 WP--Baldwin. PB--Jaramillo. Umpires--Home, Grant Menke; Bases, Adam Moscaritolo. T--2:40. A--3,568.