Mahoning Valley had five hits, but couldn't get the important one to drive in runs.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- A baseball team that fails to take advantage of its opportunities is going to regret the mistake most every time.
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers stranded six runners in scoring position and fell to the Batavia Muckdogs 3-2 at Eastwood Field Saturday.
For the second consecutive night the Scrappers (19-17) received dominate pitching and collected more hits but fell to the Muckdogs (16-19) in the New York-Penn League game.
Friday the Scrappers had more hits (8-4) and struck out 17 Batavia hitters but still fell 5-3 due to three errors.
Saturday the Scrappers had more hits (5-4) and chalked up 11 strikeouts but the bugbear proved to be the inability to deliver timely hitting.
"We were having trouble putting our hits together," Scrappers coach Mike Sarbaugh said.
Pitcher Richard De Los Santos (0-4) put the team into a deficit early. The first three Muckdogs collected a triple to the wall, an RBI single and a hit batter to make it 1-0.
In the fourth inning the Scrappers managed their first hit -- a double by Chris Gimenez after Mike Butia drew a one-out walk. One out later Brett Parker walked to load the bases but a pop-up to the infield ended the threat.
"The offense has been doing pretty good until the last couple nights," Sarbaugh said. "You're going to go through some lulls in your offense."
They finally broke through in the fifth, tying the game at 1.
Chris Clem, hitting .216 on the season, led off with a single and Argenis Reyes showed bunt. The next pitch Reyes slapped through the left side, sending Clem to third.
Reyes, a .309 batter, stole two more bases to increase his NYPL leading total to 15.
Wyatt Toregas drove in Clem with a sacrifice fly but Reyes could not score from third.
"We had second and third [with] no outs and we only got one. We'd like to get two there," Sarbaugh said.
The Muckdogs used a single and a home run to left by Ryan Firth to go up 3-1 in the sixth.
After nine straight Scrappers were retired, Mike Butia doubled with two out in the eighth and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
However a strikeout silenced the opportunity.
Finally in the ninth it seemed the Scrappers solved the fourth Batavia pitcher.
Parker drew the team's fifth walk and Fernando Pacheco doubled to left center to drive in Parker and make it a one-run game.
Pinch runner Teo Encarnacion went to third on a wild pitch but appropriate enough the next hitter struck out to end the game.
De Los Santos, Matt Haynes (3-3) and Roger Lincoln combined on a four-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
"The pitchers have been doing the job," Sarbaugh said. "When you don't score runs, when you give up only three you should be able to win a game."
Gamble rf3110Reyes cf4010
Hardy ss4011Szabo 2b4000
Shimer lf3000Toregas c3001
Norman 1b4110Butia dh2010
Isaacson 2b4000Giminez lf4010
Frith cf4112Mntgomery rf4000
Orr dh4000Parker ss2100
Brant c2000Encarnacio pr0000
Buffone 3b3000Pacheco 1b4011
LOB--Batavia 4, Scrappers 8. 2B--Butia (10), Giminez (8), Pacheco (4). 3B--Gamble (2). HR--Frith (4). SF--Toregas. SB--Hardy (3), Shimer (2), Reyes 2 (15).
Santander W, 3-0231120
Barrack S, 2221114
De Los Santo421116
Haynes L, 3-3322214
HBP--by De Los Santon (Shimer). WP--Barrack 2. Umpires--Home, Shaun Francis; First, Jason Creek. T--2:31. A--4,274.