By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Eight hits divided into 14 innings equaled no runs and two losses for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in Wednesday's doubleheader at Eastwood Field.
"They had pretty good pitching, but ultimately it was just one of those nights for us," said Scrappers third baseman Derrick Peterson after the Williamsport Crosscutters swept two seven-inning games by scores of 1-0 and 3-0.
"It's always frustrating to lose," said Peterson, whose fifth-inning double in the second game broke up Luis Valdez' no-hit bid. "And to be shut out in back-to-back games on the same night on top of that is definitely frustrating."
The Scrappers saved their best scoring threat for their final at-bat. With one out, Peterson walked and advanced to second base on Cirilo Cumberbatch's single.
After Mike Woodson walked, the Crosscutters relieved Valdez (2-2) with Kevin Miller, who earned his third save with a strikeout and a flyout.
Peterson was hoping Williams-port would have stuck with Valdez.
"I like to see the same pitcher as much as possible because I've seen him throw, usually for more than two at-bats," Peterson said.
Scrappers manager Rouglas Odor sensed that Valdez was tired.
"I had a feeling that we were going to get to him," Odor said.
"They made a good move to take him out of the game. He was tiring."
Still, Odor wasn't surprised when Valdez remained in the game to start the final inning.
"He was around the strike zone and we couldn't do much damage against him," Odor said.
Brent Lillibridge's RBI triple in the third inning gave the Crosscutters a 1-0 lead. With one out, Brett Grandstrand singled up the middle then raced home when Lillibridge sent the ball to the wall in right-center field.
The Crosscutters threatened in the fifth inning after Grandstrand drew a walk off Kevin Dixon and stole second base on a pitchout.
Lillibridge singled to right field and Evandy De Leon's throw to catcher Woodson easily nailed Grandstrand.
The Scrappers produced three baserunners in the sixth inning, but none were on at the same time. Boodle Clark singled and was erased when Grandstrand fielded Jose Chavez's bunt and threw to second base.
After Chavez was caught stealing, Jose Constanza singled and was stranded after a groundout.
A pair of wild pitches by reliever Mark Jecmen in the seventh inning sealed the Scrappers' fate. After Jason Delaney singled and Denny Nino walked, Jecmen's bounced pitch put them in scoring position.
Grandstrand's sacrifice fly brought home Delaney and Jecmen's wide pitch allowed Nino to score the Crosscutters' third run.
"We're better than this," said Scrappers manager Rouglas Odor who was pleased with how starters Jim Deters and Kevin Dixon fared. "They gave us a pretty good chance to stay in the game. We almost came back to win. We played two good games -- we have a better team than we showed tonight."
In the first game, a fluke play set up the only run. James Boone led off the Crosscutters' fifth inning with a single to center field and advanced to second base on Jason Delaney's groundout.
Brandon Reddinger followed with a hit toward third base that clipped the lip of the grass and bounced into left field.
Crosscutters pitchers Joe Bauserman and Matthew Swanson combined to limit the Scrappers to four hits.
In the first five innings, Bauserman faced 16 batters, allowing two singles and hitting one batter, but double plays in the second and third innings kept him out of trouble.
Swanson took over in the sixth inning, allowing a two-out infield hit to Jose Constanza. The threat ended when Swanson caught De Leon looking at strike three.
Fornasiere led off the seventh inning with a single to left field but was stranded at first base after a foul out, a flyout and a strikeout.
Deters went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and striking out two.
Lillibridge ss3000Constanza cf3010
Blair 2b3010Deleon lf3000
Pearce 1b3000Fornasiere 2b2010
Solano 3b3010Peterson 3b3010
Corley rf3010Mortensen dh3000
Boone cf3110Casillas c3000
Delaney lf3010Cmbrbtch rf2000
Reddinger c3011Lytle ss2010
Santiago dh2000Clark 1b2000
DP--Williamsport 2, Scrappers 1. LOB--Williamsport 4, Scrappers 3. 2B--Reddinger.
Bauserman W, 3-1520001
Swanson S, 5220002
Deters L, 2-25 1-361102
HBP--by Bauserman (Fornasiere). Umpires--Home, Mario Seneca; First, Bob Boyle. T--1:38.
Lillibridge ss4021Constanza cf3010
Blair 2b3000Mortensen lf3000
Pearce 1b3000Fornasiere 2b3000
Corley cf3000Peterson 3b2010
Boone dh3000Cmbrbtch dh3010
Delaney rf3120Woodson c2000
Searage lf2000Lytle pr0000
Nino c2100Thomas rf1000
Grndstrnd 3b1111De Leon rf2000
E--Fornasiere. LOB--Williamsport 4, Scrappers 5. 2B--Peterson. 3B--Lillibridge. S--Searage. SF--Grandstrand. SB--Boone, Grandstrand. CS--Chavez.
Valdez W, 2-26 1-340021
Miller S, 32-300001
Dixon L, 2-1641114
WP--Jecman 2. PB--Woodson. Umpires--Home, Bob Boyle; First, Mario Seneca. T--1:58. A--3,802.