Focused Scrappers overcome Brooklyn
Mahoning Valley rebounded from a 4-0 deficit.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Behind a sterling relief pitching performance, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers rallied for a 5-4 win over the Brooklyn Cyclones Sunday at Eastwood Field.
After playing 11 innings Friday and 13 more Saturday night, the Scrappers fell behind the Cyclones 4-0 in the third inning and had every reason to fold early.
However, they refused to quit, scoring twice in the third and sixth innings to tie the score at 4 and added the winning run in the eighth.
"They showed me a lot," Scrappers' manager Rouglas Odor said of his team's resiliency. "And not only that, they came ready to play. We struggled early [but] we didn't give up and that's huge. We concentrated; we stayed focused."
The Cyclones (25-20) took advantage of a dropped fly ball to score three runs in the second inning. A Mahoning Valley fielding error paved the way for the fourth Cyclone run.
The Scrappers cut the deficit in half in the last of the third. Mike Woodson and Jose Chavez led off the inning with infield singles and one out later Jose Constanza came to the plate.
Constanza opened the season with the Lake County Captains (Class A) but missed two months of action when he broke a finger on his right (throwing) hand.
Still on rehab assignment, Constanza doubled sharply to right field to score the two runs and get starting pitcher Jim Deters back into the game.
"He's a great player," Odor said of Constanza. "He hit .444 in Dominican Summer League last year and broke the record for the most singles in the history of the league."
Constanza had 117 hits in 60 games there, including 19 triples.
"That kid's doing an unbelievable job," Odor said.
Deters was replaced by Matt Haynes in the sixth inning and the Cyclones didn't get a runner past first base the rest of the way.
"The pitchers again did an outstanding job," Odor said.
Haynes (1-0, 3.26 ERA) threw a no-hitter over his three innings of work and picked up the decision.
"Haynes, he's been unbelievable," Odor said. "He's been outstanding, almost perfect. He's done it, he's done it before. Every time he's out there, he's going to give you his best and keep you in the game."
Haynes was the beneficiary of some timely defense including a great catch in deep center by Constanza to end the sixth inning and a diving catch at second base by Chris Clem.
The Scrappers manufactured two runs in the sixth to tie it. They combined two singles, two stolen bases, a throwing error and a sacrifice to plate the runs.
"I have to play with what I have," Odor said. "We don't have a team that's capable to hit two, three homers a game.
"I'm going to have to make some things happen."
Matt Fornasiere led off the eighth inning with a double to left and scored on two groundouts.
Matt Loberg worked the ninth inning to get the save. His blanking of Brooklyn extended the relief squad's streak to 13 innings over two games with no runs scored.
"Loberg came in and pounded the strike zone and saved the game," Odor said.
Seven Scrappers had a hit apiece, five players each scored a run and three pitchers combined to permit just two earned runs.
Holden cf3000Clem 2b3000
Pacheco lf5110Constanza cf3012
Stewart dh5000Kzmnff 3b3010
Evans 1b4101Hiser 1b1000
Gamero rf3110Peterson 1b2000
Naccarata 3b1001Fornasiere dh3110
Malo 2b4110Longworth rf4110
Butera c4021Deleon lf4111
Santana ss4021Woodson c1111
E--Malo, Butera, Kouzmanoff, Longworth. DP--Brooklyn 1, Scrappers 1. LOB--Brooklyn 8, Scrappers 7. 2B--Butera, Constanza, Fornasiere. S--Holden, Constanza, Woodson. SF--Naccarata. SB--Pacheco 2, Longworth, Deleon.
Joseph L, 0-1211121
Haynes W, 1-0300012
Loberg S, 5110000
WP--Deters. HBP--by Landing (Hiser), by Landing (Woodson), by Deters (Gamero). Umpires--Home, De'Andre Anderson; First, Brad Myers. T--2:24. A--3,882.