Mahoning Valley made three errors in the sixth inning of a 5-3 loss to Batavia.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- It's been said that in baseball a double play is a pitcher's best friend.
Then it must follow that an error is a pitcher's worst enemy.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers went into Friday's New York-Penn League game against the Batavia Muckdogs having committed just one error in their last six starts.
The Scrappers committed three miscues in the sixth inning that paved the way to a 5-3 Batavia win at Eastwood Field.
"It was just one of those innings that killed us," said Scrappers manager Mike Sarbaugh. "It's bound to happen sooner or later."
Through five scoreless innings, the two teams were deadlocked in a terrific pitchers duel.
Scrapper starter Scott Lewis faced six batters and struck out five of them.
His replacement, Hector Santana (0-1), struck out three over the next three innings.
Meanwhile, Batavia pitchers struck out seven Scrappers in the first five innings.
In other words, there were just two baserunners in five full innings of play.
Then the Muckdogs (15-19) used a lead-off double, a bad throw on a pick-off play, an RBI single, a double steal involving another blown throw, a wild pitch and a dropped third strike on a strikeout to take a 3-0 lead.
The Scrappers (19-16), who had won 11 of their last 13 games, came right back. Four consecutive singles, the last a two-RBI shot by Wyatt Toregas, narrowed the gap to 3-2.
"I was getting good [hitting] counts," said Toregas. "Pitchers were almost forced to throw me pitches to hit.
"When I know it's going to come, I'm pretty confident."
In the eighth inning, Batavia used a hit batter, a walk and a seeing-eye double to left to seize a 5-2 lead.
Toregas, who entered the game hitting .345 -- fourth-best in the league -- doubled to left with two away in the eighth. He scored on a throwing error, but the Scrappers could get no closer.
"I feel like I'm in a grove," said Toregas of his hitting success. "When you see the ball well, it's like a lot of guys, it seems like they get a hit every time they go up to the plate."
While the Scrappers allowed five runs, the pitching staff turned in one impressive statistic -- 17 Muckdogs struck out.
Argenis Reyes added two bunt singles and a pair of steals. He leads the NYPL with 13 thefts.
Mahoning Valley had twice as many hits (8-4) but was doomed by the ugly sixth frame.
"It's baseball, things go wrong sometimes," said Toregas. "There's not much you can do about it.
"We've been playing well for the most part," he added. "You're not going to win every game."
Gamble rf3111Reyes cf5120
Hardy ss2200Szabo 2b 4010
Shimer lf4000Toregas c4122
Firth cf4012Gimenez lf4000
Crosland dh4000Montgmry dh4000
Isaacson 2b4010Parker 3b3010
Galloway 1b4000Encarnacion rf 4000
Orr 3b4110Pacheco 1b4010
Karlsen c3100Finegan ss 4110
E--Orr, Santana. LOB--Batavia 4, Mahoning Valley 7. 2B--Firth, Orr, Toregas. SB--Gamble, Galloway, Reyes 2.
Cline W, 2-0463204
Rose S, 1110012
Santana L, 0-13 1-333213