Mahoning Valley had rallied to tie the contest in the eighth inning.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The fireworks show began in the last of the eighth inning but the explosions were short-lived Friday for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
A crowd of 5,080 turned out at Eastwood Field to see the New York-Penn League game and the anticipated Independence Day fireworks scheduled to follow.
After rallying to tie the game in the eighth inning, the Scrappers lost to the Auburn Doubledays 5-2 in 12 innings.
"We fought back at the end," Scrappers coach Mike Sarbaugh said.
"We had good opportunities but fell through; we got two [runs] but needed more."
Struggled through seven
For the first seven innings the Scrappers (5-10) were held in check by the Doubledays (12-3) but things changed in the eighth.
Trailing 2-0, Mahoning Valley loaded the bases on a walk and consecutive singles by Argenis Reyes and Marshall Szabo.
Chris Gimenez singled off the pitcher's glove to drive in the first run and a ground out knotted it at 2-all.
The Doubledays manufactured three runs in the 12th to decide it.
A single to right and a one-out walk put Auburn runners on first and second.
Catcher Erik Kratz, who already had two hits, doubled to the wall in center to score a pair.
One out later, an infield error plated Kratz with the fifth run.
Failed in 12th
In the last of the 12th, Reyes walked and Gimenez reached on an error.
Mike Butia, who was hitting .333, launched a rocked down right-field line but it hooked outside the foul pole.
If fair, it would have tied the game but Butia flew out to end the contest
Then, the real fireworks had a chance to begin.
With one out Butia doubled Gimenez to third base in the fourth inning but the Doubledays avoided the threat.
In the fifth Tim Montgomery doubled with one away but was stranded there.
It wasn't until the eighth inning that the Scrappers finally bunched their hits together.
Leading the way
Montgomery, Butia and Gimenez each had two hits.
"That's kind of been our same story recently," Montgomery said of the eighth-inning rally.
"We come back and don't quite have enough in the tank. Another tough loss, obviously."
Mathews cf5000Reyes dh5110
Klosterman ss6120Szabo 2b6010
Nielsen dh4010Gimenez 1b6021
Armstrong pr0100Butia lf5020
Hall 2b3011Toregas c5001
Esposito 3b2000Parker ss4010
Lind lf3220Clem 3b5000
Kratz c6132Encarnacion rf1010
Velez 3b/2b3001Mntgmry pr/rf4020
Mangioni rf5000Cruz cf4110
E--Parker, Velez. DP--Doubledays 1. LOB--Doubledays 13, Scrappers 11. 2B--Klosterman, Kratz, Butia, Montgomery.
Bell W, 2-03 2-300023
Harris L, 1-2223232