NILES -- Michael Holliman had three hits and scored two runs as the Oneonta Tigers posted a come-from-behind 5-2 victory over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers Monday in N.Y.-Penn League action at Eastwood Field.
Trailing 2-1 after seven innings, the Tigers scored two runs in each of the final two innings to improve to 14-5 overall for first place in the Stedler Division. They are an impressive 10-2 in road contests.
"We got good pitching tonight, especially from Sendy Vasquez who gave us a much needed spot start," Oneonta manager Tom Brookens said.
"We're hitting the ball extremely well and in the late innings this team really believes that they belong to them," Brookens said. "To be 10-2 on the road thus far is also a great accomplishment for any team."
Head homers again
Stephen Head, last week's N.Y.-Penn League Player of the Week, got the Scrappers (11-10) on the board first with his solo blast in the first inning. It was his fourth home run in his last five games and his sixth overall in 10 games played.
"This is without question my best run offensively with a wooden bat," Head said. "I never expected this type of start to my professional career.
"After taking a three-week break from the end of my college season to the start of my Scrapper season, the adjustment is coming slow but sure," Head said. "I'm on the same plan as Trevor Crowe; 10 games and 40 at bats and both of those goals were reached tonight. We'll just wait and see what happens now."
Scrapper manager Rouglas Odor, while disappointed in the outcome of the game, had nothing but high praise for Head.
"I am really impressed with his work habits and how he swings the bat," Odor said. "He can really hit the long ball and is aggressive at the plate."
The Tigers tied the game at a run apiece in the fourth inning when centerfielder Clete Thomas hit a two-out single then scored on a Ryan Roberson double.
The Scrappers took a 2-1 lead in their half of the fourth after Boodle Clark hit a two-out single. He scored when Trevor Mortenson, who had three hits on the night, singled allowing Clark to score from first base when Oneonta's Leo Grullon failed to field the ball cleanly from his right field position.
Starting pitcher Ryan Edell worked the first five innings for the Scrappers, allowing one run on six hits, striking out four.
Reliever Matt Haynes twirled two innings, facing the minimum six batters, striking out the last five Tigers that he faced.
Bullpen falters again
Thomas Cowley relieved Haynes in the eighth and allowed a single and consecutive walks to load the bases before giving way to Dustin Roddy.
Roddy was immediately greeted by Thomas' two-run single which allowed Oneonta to take a 3-2 lead.
He then allowed an RBI single to Holliman and a run-scoring sacrifice fly to Cory Middleton in the ninth.
Vasquez went four innings, allowing six hits and both Scrapper runs. Anthony Claggett, who allowed two hits during his seventh inning stint, picked up the win, his first of the season.
Kevin Whelan, working the final two innings for the Tigers, earned his second save of the campaign.
"Once again we left too many runners in scoring position," Odor said. "We had a chance to make some noise in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and just one out, but failed to score. The effort is there but we just couldn't get the big hit."
After a day off today, the Scrappers will open a three-game series with the Tri-City Valleycats in Troy, N.Y., on Wednesday night.
They return to Eastwood Field on Saturday night for the start of a three-game series with the Lowell Spinners.
Holliman ss4230Constanza cf5010
Timm lf4011Lytle ss5000
Thomas cf4122Head dh3111
Middleton 3b3001Peterson 3b3000
Robertson 1b4021Clem 2b2010
Roa c4000Casillas c4010
Grullon rf4000Clark 1b3110
Torres dh4010Mortensen lf4030
Patino 2b4120Cumbrbtch rf4010
E--Grullon; DP--Tigers 2; LOB--Tigers 9, Scrappers 9; 2B--Roberson, Mortensen; HR--Head; SH--Middleton; SF--Middleton; SB--Thomas, Cumberbatch; CS--Holliman.
Claggett (W 1-0)120011
Whalan S, 2200014
Cowley (L 0-1)012220
WP--Roddy; Umpires--HP-Chris Hamner; 1B-Andrew Russell; T--3:00; A--3,437.