Record squared with 6-5 triumph
Brett Parker's single drove in the winning run in the 10th inning.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers executed the extra-inning play with textbook perfection.
After blowing leads of 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4, the Scrappers manufactured a run in the last of the tenth inning Friday to defeat the Jamestown Jammers 6-5 at Eastwood Field.
By winning for the sixth time in seven starts, the Scrappers (14-14) have evened their New York-Penn League record for the first time since June 22.
Marshall Szabo led off the top of the tenth inning with his second hit, a single up the middle.
Brett Parker, who had already doubled in a run in the fourth inning and sacrificed in another in the seventh, followed in an obvious bunting situation.
After fouling off two pitches, Parker squared around to bunt again. A wild pitch went to the backstop and Szabo alertly advanced to third base.
"In that situation, it worked out well," Scrapper manager Mike Sarbaugh said of the aggressive base running by Szabo.
"He said to me 'if I wouldn't have got to third, I would have been released tomorrow."
With the infield drawn in, Parker singled through the left side to score Szabo with the winning run.
"I should have got the bunt down but it ended up working out," Parker said.
"I was just trying to do a job and the ball was low. It was great base running by Szabo. He was thinking of going three the whole way and he beat them to the bag."
When the pitch eluded the catcher, Szabo saw that the third baseman failed to defend his bag and successfully gambled in the advance.
"You always want to advance to the next base," Szabo said of his mad sprint.
"I saw the third baseman vacate and I saw no body there so I did my best to get there."
So did he worry about losing the gamble?
"If I did get thrown out, I might not be playing tomorrow," Szabo said.
Szabo credited Parker for a "clutch" hit at the end that allowed him to score without a play at the plate.
"He gave me a fastball; it was a good pitch to hit," Parker said of the game-winning knock. "I was trying to put it in play. I was just trying to hit something hard and put pressure on the defense."
Chris Niesel pitched the first seven innings for the Scrappers and left with a 5-4 lead. He allowed just six hits, walking none. Matt Haynes (2-2) got the win.
Tim Montgomery had a single and a two-run homer for the Scrappers.
"He's been making some adjustments up there," Sarbaugh said of Montgomery.
"He's starting to come around with his swing.
"When he starts being more consistent at the plate, what happened tonight you'll see it more often."
Pietro cf5120Reyes cf5110
Fulton ss5000Szabo 2b5220
McCann 3b5020Parker 3b4123
Restko 1b5011Gimenez lf4000
Wyman c4000Montgmry rf4222
Ewen rf4111Encarncon dh4010
Carroll 2b4110Casillas c3000
Sewell lf4233Pacheco 1b3011
Alen dh4000Finegan ss3000
None out when winning run scored.
E--McCann, Pacheco. LOB--Jammers 6, Scrappers 6. 2B--Parker. HR--Montgomery, Ewen, Sewell 2. SF--Parker. SB--Pietro.
Hogan L, 0-2021100
Haynes W, 2-2341114
WP--Hogan. PB--Wyman. Umpires: plate Art Thigpen, 1st Mike Winestein. T--2:33. A--4,185.