NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE Scrappers in seventh heaven
A four-run seventh inning helped Mahoning Valley topple Auburn 5-0.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers got a little more breathing room in the Pinckney Division standings on Thursday after getting a lot of help from the Auburn Doubleday defense.
Auburn had just one error but played sloppy defense in the seventh inning to allow Mahoning Valley to score four runs en route to a 5-0 victory in a New York-Penn League game at Eastwood Field.
Mahoning Valley (20-17) now leads Auburn (17-19) by 2 1/2 games in the division standings.
Breaking it open
After scoring the game's first run in the bottom of the sixth, the Scrappers loaded the bases in the seventh without hitting a ball out of the infield.
Boodle Clark, the ninth hitter, led off the seventh with a walk and Jose Constanza followed with a bunt single between the first baseman and the pitcher. The Doubledays tried the wheel play on Andy Lytle's bunt attempt, but Auburn pitcher Edward Rodriguez didn't have a play at third and dropped the ball before he could make the play at first. Rodriguez was initially charged with an error before the official scorekeeper changed it to a hit later in the inning.
Matt Fornasiere then hit a tailor-made double play ball to short, but Doubledays shortstop Emmanuel Sena couldn't make the play, allowing Clark to score. Derrick Peterson made it 4-0 with a bouncer that went over the pitcher's head and out of the shortstop's reach for a two-run single. Two outs later, Omar Casillas hit a double to score Fornasiere for the game's final run.
The offensive outburst was a relief for the Scrappers, who were blanked 1-0 and 3-0 in a doubleheader against Williamsport on Wednesday and went 23 innings without scoring.
Indians pitcher Jason Stanford, on a rehab assignment after undergoing Tommy John surgery last July, started and pitched a scoreless inning for the Scrappers, giving up one hit. It was just his second game since the surgery. He pitched two-thirds of an inning on Monday.
Ryan Edell (1-1) came on in relief and pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings, striking out six and walking none, to get his first professional win. Matt Loberg pitched the final 2 2/3 innings for Mahoning Valley, which has won eight of its last 13 games.
Rodriguez (1-1) got the loss for Auburn, giving up all five runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks.
The Scrappers got their first run in the sixth when Trevor Mortensen led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Casillas and moved to third on a passed ball. Cirilo Cumberbatch hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Mortensen.
Constanza and Lytle each went 2-for-3 with a run scored for Mahoning Valley, while Peterson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Josh Bell led Auburn with two hits.
The Scrappers continue their series against Auburn at 7:05 tonight before finishing the homestand at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Acey 2b4010Constanza cf3120
Sena ss3000Lytle ss3120
Patton rf4010Fornasiere 2b4111
Patterson cf4000Peterson 1b4022
Metropouls dh4000Mortensen dh2100
Bell J. c 3020Casillas c3011
Bormaster c1000Cmbrbtch rf2001
Bohm 1b2010Thomas lf2000
Thomas 1b2010Deleon lf2000
Pettway lf3020Clark 1b2100
E--Sena; Peterson. DP--Auburn 1; Scrappers 1. LOB--Auburn 7; Scrappers 10. 2B--Fornasiere; Casillas. SH--Sena; Lytle; Casillas. SF--Cumberbatch. SB--Constanza 2. CS--Peterson.
Bell K530063Rodriguez L, 1-1245320
Edell W, 1-15 1-350006
Umpires--Home, Mario Seneca; First, Bob Boyle. T--2:43. A--6,637.