Mahoning Valley just couldn't get the hits when it needed them.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The inability to come up with a timely hit proved to be an obstacle the Mahoning Valley Scrappers could not overcome Thursday.
The Scrappers (30-32) left five men on base including four in scoring position over the first five innings alone and lost to the Jamestown Jammers 2-0 at Eastwood Field.
"Our situational hitting wasn't the best tonight," Scrappers' manager Rouglas Odor said.
"We left a lot of runners in scoring position. Basically that's why we lost the game."
Right from the start
For example, the Scrappers opened the first inning with two consecutive singles but the next three hitters failed to move them over.
After the Jammers (27-33) collected a triple, a double and a single to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning, it was catch-up the rest of the way for Mahoning Valley.
"You have to make adjustments at the plate; you have to make something happen," Odor said. "We didn't do it. It was simple -- we couldn't score any runs."
P. J. Hiser doubled with one out in the fourth inning but never got any further. Then, trailing 2-0, the Scrappers threatened to get back into the game in the fifth.
With one out Evandy De Leon and Jose Chavez singled and Jose Constanza walked to load the bases.
Andy Lytle, who had singled twice already, hit a bouncer that ended the rally with a 4-6-3 double play.
Defense played well
The Scrappers did play stingy defense, turning in three double plays.
Shortstop Chavez was the keystone player on all three twin killings, including the first which began with a grounder to Hiser at first in the third inning.
"I just tried my best and just put my foot on the bag," said Chavez of his ballet-type move, then throw back to Hiser to retire the batter.
"I just tried to get the double play and get us out of the inning."
In both the fifth and seventh innings the Jammers saw threats squelched when ground balls were hit to Matt Fornasiere who was playing second base.
Each time the relay went to Chavez whose throw to Hiser produced the outs. The second of which plays bordered on highlight reel material.
"That was another tough play," Chavez said. "The guy was right in my face. I just tried to do the best I could and made the double play."
Good relief pitching
Three relief pitchers -- Mark Jecmen, Matt Knox and Matt Loberg -- combined to throw a one-hit shutout with no walks over the final four innings.
However the combination of fine defense and tough relief pitching wasn't enough to overcome the offensive shortcomings.
Kevin Dixon (3-4) started the game and allowed six hits and both runs in his five innings of work.
Van Houten cf4011Constanza lf3010
Roche 2b4010Lytle 3b4020
Sanchez dh4000Fornasiere 2b3000
Harvey 3b4110Hiser 1b4010
Walton lf4011Longworth dh4000
Messner 1b3010Casillas c4010
Hayes c3010Thomas cf4000
Brkenbosch rf2100De Leon rf3010
Witt ss3010Chavez ss3010
DP--Jamestown 1, Scrappers 3. LOB--Jamestown 3, Scrappers 7. 2B--Harvey, Hiser. 3B--Walton. CS--Lytle.
Lewis W, 1-22 2-300021
Zarate S, 7110001
Dixon L, 3-4562211
WP--Lewis. Umpires--Home, Adam Harrel; First, Drew Ashcraft. T--2:14. A--4,186.