Tony Sipp pitched Mahoning Valley past Jamestown on Sunday.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- To Mahoning Valley Scrappers pitcher Tony Sipp, individual statistics don't mean much.
"I was never really that big on numbers," he said.
If Sipp were, he might find frustration in the five no-decisions he took into his eighth start Sunday at Eastwood Field.
This time, finally, he was rewarded.
The left-hander from Moss Point, Miss., allowed one run on three hits in five innings as the Scrappers defeated Jamestown 9-5.
It was the second win for Sipp (2-1), a former standout at Clemson University, who was drafted in the 45th round by the Cleveland Indians.
"I really can't complain," Sipp said of his outing. "If I could pitch like that every game, I'd go for it."
The 21-year-old Sipp admitted that Sunday's game was one of his best, only because he felt comfortable with his approach on the mound. But it wasn't the game in which he felt the most satisfaction from his effort.
"It's the game that I really have to battle through when I don't have my best stuff; that's when I'm most impressed with myself," he said.
Impressive were the nine strikeouts Sipp recorded against the Jammers (24-36). He now has 26 strikeouts and four walks over his last three starts, covering 14 innings.
"I've been trying to get people to put the ball in play more, but it seems like that [a strikeout pitcher] is what I've turned into," said Sipp, who complements his fastball with a slider and an improving changeup. "[Strikeouts] have become a big part of my game, whether I like it or not."
Sipp, who threw 74 pitches, was backed by another strong Scrappers offense, which produced 13 hits, six for extra bases. Mahoning Valley's offense has recorded 10 or more hits in six of its last seven games.
"I can pitch behind that any day," Sipp said of the run support. "It seems like everybody is going up there with a good approach. That makes your job a lot easier. You can just put it in cruise control."
In the fifth inning, Sipp's last, the Scrappers (32-31) broke loose for four runs, as Chris Gimenez, Mike Butia and Fernando Pacheco doubled.
"We had a stretch earlier in the year when we swung the bats well," Scrappers manager Mike Sarbaugh said. "Of late, it's been more on a consistent basis and we're getting a lot more guys involved."
Pacheco and Wyatt Toregas led Mahoning Valley with three hits each, and Pacheco added three RBIs.
"Everybody is clicking. Everybody is finding their swing," Pacheco said. "As time goes on, it's going to get better."
With Sunday's win, the Scrappers kept pace in the wild card race. They trail New Jersey by 11/2 games. Hudson Valley and Oneonta are also in the hunt.
"We're starting to notice. We're starting to heat up a little bit," Sipp said. "You can tell in the dugout -- people are getting into the games a little more."
Pacheco added of the playoff chase, "It's all a part of becoming a professional baseball player -- the intensity, the aggressiveness that it takes to win a game. It just makes you that much better."
McMillan 2b4021Reyes cf5010
Carroll 3b5110Finegan ss5110
Fulton ss4111Gimenez 3b/lf4220
Restko 1b4011Butia lf3111
Sewell lf4000Toregas c5132
Gaston rf4121Montgomry rf3100
Alen c3110Parker 2b4211
Lindesey dh4111Pacheco 1b4033
Ewen cf4020Encarnacn dh4111
E--Fulton 2, McMillan. DP--Jamestown 1, Scrappers 1. LOB--Jammers 8, Scrappers 8. HR--Encarnacion, Fulton, Gaston. 2B--Toregas, Parker, Gimenez, Butia, Pacheco, Carroll, Restko, Alen. CS--Gaston.
Lurch L, 4-44 1-385414
Sipp W, 2-1531119
Harris S, 122-300000
HBP--by Jecmen (Restko). Umpires--Home, Brad Lawhead; Bases, Matt Beaver. T--2:45. A--4,813.
HOW THEY SCORED
MAHONING VALLEY 1, JAMESTOWN 0
Scrappers: Zach Lerch pitching. Fernando Pacheco struck out. Teo Encarnacion homered over the center-field wall. Argenis Reyes grounded out. Brian Finegan singled in the infield, Chris Gimenez walked, Finegan to second. Mike Butia struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 3, JAMESTOWN 1
Jammers: Tony Sipp pitching. Jon Fulton homered over the left-field wall. J.T. Restko struck out. Kevin Sewell grounded out to the pitcher. Jared Gaston struck out. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left.
Scrappers: Lerch pitching. Wyatt Toregas doubled down the left-field line, Tim Montgomery grounded out to second, Toregas to third. Brett Parker doubled to right, Toregas scored. Pacheco singled to left, Parker scored. Encarnacion lined out to second. Reyes flied out to left. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 7, JAMESTOWN 1
Scrappers: Lerch pitching. Finegan grounded out to short. Gimenez doubled to left, Butia doubled to center, Gimenez scored. Jeffery Lacher in to pitch. Toregas grounded out to third, Butia to third. Montgomery walked, Parker reached on an error by the shortstop, Butia scored, Montgomery to second. Pacheco doubled to left center, Montgomery, Parker scored, Pacheco to third on the throw home. Encarnacion grounded out to short. 4 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 9, JAMESTOWN 1
Scrappers: Lacher pitching. Reyes singled to left, Finegan hit into a fielder's choice, Reyes out at second. Gimenez singled to left, Finegan to second. Pinch hitter Chris Clem grounded out to third, Finegan to third, Gimenez to second. Toregas singled to right, Finegan, Gimenez scored, Toregas to second on the throw home. Montgomery reached on an error by the shortstop, Toregas to third. Parker flied out to center. 2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 9, JAMESTOWN 2
Jammers: Scott Roehl pitching. Gaston homered over the right-field wall. Luis Alen grounded out to short. Juan Lindesey grounded out to the pitcher. Nick Ewen singled to center, Beau McMillan struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 9, JAMESTOWN 3
Jammers: Justin Pekarek pitching. Brett Carroll doubled to left, Fulton struck out. Restko doubled to left center, Carroll scored. Sewell struck out. Gaston grounded out to short. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left.
MAHONING VALLEY 9, JAMESTOWN 5
Jammers: Hector Santana pitching. Alen doubled to right, Lindesey singled to center, Alen scored. Ewen singled to right, Lindesey to third. McMillan singled to right, Lindesey scored, Ewen to second. Carroll flied out to right, Ewen to third. Fulton walked to load the bases, McMillan to second. Mark Harris in to pitch. Restko hit into a double play, Ewen out at home, Restko out at first. 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 left.