The Scrappers trailed their opener by two in the eighth, but rallied to win.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers opened defense of their New York-Penn League championship on the right foot and did it in the same exciting manner they used to win the title.
Catcher Omar Casillas' two-run triple to center field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning completed the Scrappers' rally in a 6-4 win over Jamestown Jammers before an opening night crowd of 6,006 at Eastwood Field.
Mahoning Valley trailed 4-2going into the eighth and didn't have an extra base hit through the first seven frames, but got two doubles and Casillas' triple.
With one out, Matt Fornasiere doubled down the left field line and Cirilo Cumberbatch followed with a high chopper that went over the pitcher and then past the shortstop and before anybody could get to the ball Cumberbatch slid safely into second with a double, while Fornasiere scored the third Scrappers' run.
After Derrick Peterson flied out, Chris Clem walked and then Casillas hit a 2-2 pitch, scoring Cumberbatch and Clem.
As Casillas slid into third base the throw from shortstop Marco Cabral got past third baseman Gaby Sanchez and went into the dugout, allowing Casillas to score.
"I went up there just looking for something good to hit," Casillas said. "All of their pitchers were keeping the ball out away from the hitters, but he put one in the zone and I got good wood on it."
Mahoning Valley's first-year manager, Rouglas Odor, was happy with the team's opening effort.
"I'm excited, especially the way these kids battled back tonight," he said. "When you hit the ball like we did and get good pitching good things are going to happen."
Scrappers' starter Adam Miller, on rehab assignment, went three innings.
After a one-two-three first inning which he threw only nine pitches, the Jammers got two him for two runs in the third inning as he allowed three hits, including a triple by Tanner Rogers.
Ryan Knippschild came on in relief and pitched four innings, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before the Jammers scored two more runs in the seventh inning.
Sealed the deal
Nelson Hiraldo finished the game, shutting down the Jammers in the final two frames, including striking out the final two batters in the ninth. He picked up the victory.
"Out pitching was excellent," Odor said. "I thought Miller might have been a little excited since he hadn't pitched in a long while, but all three did a great job."
Odor said that he didn't think there was any more pressure on the team to win since they were defending champions.
"I think that some of the kids who were here last year might have been a little more excited than the others, but there was no real pressure."
"There was no pressure, we have great fans and they are going to support us win or lose," he said.
He also lauded the three pitchers.
"Miller is a great pitcher and his velocity was outstanding tonight," Casillas added. "Knippschild was unbelievable, he just hit my glove wherever I put it and Hiraldo did a great job finishing up," he said.
Fornasiere led the Scrappers with three hits, while Casillas and Jose Constanza each added a pair as Mahoning Valley outhit the Jammers 11-9.
Jamestown had four players with two hits including Greg Burns, James Guerrero, Cabral and Rogers.
The two teams will meet again tonight and Thursday before the Scrappers go on the road for three games at Auburn, N.Y. beginning Friday.
Burns cf4121Constanza cf4020
Guerrero 2b4020Lytle dh4000
Van Houten3000Brown lf4000
Sanchez 3b3001Clark 1b4110
Aranda 1b4000Fornasiere ss4130
Cabral ss4120Cmbrbtch rf4111
Walton lf3000Peterson 3b4011
Brkenbosch dh3111Clem 2b3210
Rogers c3121Casillas c4123
E--Cabral, Nickerson. DP--Scrappers 1. LOB--Jamestown 2, Scrappers 8. 2B--Burns, Fornasiere, Cumberbatch. 3B--Rogers, Casillas. SB--Burns, Guerrero, Constanza 2. CS--Rogers.
Wood L, 0-1144411
Hiraldo W, 1-0210003
Balk--Nickerson. Umpires--Home, Brad Myers; First--DeAndre Anderson. T--2:32. A--6,006.
HOW THEY SCOREDSECOND INNINGMAHONING VALLEY 1, JAMESTOWN 0
SCRAPPERS: Boodle Clark singled to center; Matt Fornasiere singled to center, Clark to second. Cirilo Cumberbatch grounded into a force play, Fornasier was out at second. Derrick Peterson singled to deep shortstop, Clark scoring. Chris Clem grounded out, Omar Casillas grounded out. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
JAMESTOWN 2, MAHONING VALLEY 1
JAMMERS: Kenny Berkenbosch field out to right, Tanner Rogers tripled to centerfield; Greg Burns singled to deep short, Rogers scoring; James Guerrero singled to right. Burns to second. Burns stole third, Guerrero stole second. Jeff Van Houten walked to load the bases and Gaby Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to left, Burns scoring. Guerrero was picked off at third base. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
MAHONING VALLEY 2, JAMESTOWN 2
SCRAPPERS: Clem singled to right, he went to second on an error by the pitcher and was balked to third base. Casillas singled down the third base line scoring Clem. Jose Constanza field out to right, Andrew Lytle ground out, Jordan Brown ground out. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.
JAMESTOWN 4, MAHONING VALLEY 2
JAMMERS: Mark Aranda struckout; Marco Cabral hit an infield single; Jamar Wilson grounded out, Cabral to second. Kenny Berkenbosch singled to center scoring Cabral, Berkenbosch to second on the throw home. Tanner Rogers singled to left scoring Berkenbosch. Rogers was thrown out trying to steal second. 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
MAHONING VALLEY 6, JAMESTOWN 4
SCRAPPERS: Clark popped out to second base, Fornasiere doubled down left field line; Cirilo Cumberbatch doubled up the middle, Fornasiere scoring. Derrick Peterson flied out to center; Clem walked; Casillas tripled to deep center scoring Cumberbatch and Clem; Casillas scored on an error by shortstop Cabral; Jose Constanza hit an infield single; Lytle struckout. 4 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.