Scrappers put the 'e' in defeat
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- After nine games this season, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' longest winning streak remains one game.
For the fourth time this year, the Scrappers failed in an attempt to get back-to-back victories, falling to the Batavia Muckdogs, 5-2, before 3,783 at Eastwood Field on Wednesday night.
Mahoning Valley committed three errors which resulted in three Batavia runs, two of them in the first inning.
Scrappers starting pitcher Jim Deters was the victim of one of those errors that set up the first two Batavia runs, the only runs Deters allowed in five innings.
After the opening frame, Deters retired the Muckdogs in order over the next four innings.
"I thought he [Deters] pitched outstanding tonight," Scrappers manager Rouglas Odor said. "Outside of the three fielding mistakes, I thought we played well tonight."
The trouble began early for the Scrappers.
After Deter retired the leadoff batter, Brett Dalton singled up the middle.
Mike Costanzo hit a grounder deep in the hole at second base and Scrappers infielder Julio Garcia made the play. But Garcia elected to throw to second base for the force out and threw wildly into left field. Batavia ended up with runners on second and third.
Carl Galloway grounded out with Dalton scoring on the play and Clay Harris followed with a single to left field, scoring Costanzo.
Mahoning Valley came back to cut the margin in half in the second inning as Jordan Brown led off with a single to right field and went to second on a wild pitch from Batavia starter and winning pitcher Scott Mitchenson.
Boodle Clark singled to shallow right with Brown stopping at third base. Derrick Peterson hit into a 6-4-3 double play with Brown scoring on the play.
Deters kept the Muckdogs in check through the fifth inning when he left the game. Reliever Marc Jecman was plagued by the second Scrappers error.
After Dennis Diaz's lead-off single, Jecman picked him off. Brett Dalton then reached on an error by first baseman Brown who threw wildly to Jecman covering the base.
Jecman walked the next two batters to load the bases and Clay Harris singled home one run before Jecman pitched his way out of the inning.
Closing it out
Mahoning Valley scored its second run in the eighth inning when Omar Casillas singled to open the inning, went to second on a groundout and scored on Trevor Crowe's single to left field.
Batavia wrapped up the contest in the ninth, scoring twice more on a single by Harris, a triple by Jordan Szabo and a single by Andy MacFarlane.
The Scrappers had runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but reliever Pat Overholt struck out Casillas to end the contest.
"We were never out of the game and in the ninth inning we had the tying run at the plate," Odor said. "Anytime you can play and give yourself a chance to come back, anytime in the game, it is a big plus for your team. And we did that again tonight."
Batavia won the series 2-1 and Mahoning Valley will open a three-game series today against the Auburn Doubledays at 7:05 p.m. at Eastwood Field.
Odor says he feels that his club is going to get better as the season continues.
"We've been getting great pitching and we've played well on the road and our hitting will come around soon I'm sure," Odor said. "There's no reason this team can't come back and win this division once again. We have a lot of talent on this ballclub."
Diaz cf5010Crowe cf4011
Dalton, 2b4210Constanza rf4010
Galloway dh3001Brown lf4120
Harris 3b4132Clark dh4020
Guevara c3000Peterson 3b3000
Szabo lf4111Casillas c4120
MacFalane rf3011Garcia 2b3000
Antoniato ss4000Mortensen lf3000
E--Brown, Garcia 2; LOB--Batavia 5, Scrappers 5; DP--Muckdogs 1, Scrappers 1. 3B-- Szabo; CS--Diaz, Garcia; SH--Guevara.
Mitchenson (W 1-0)651102
Deters (L0-1) 522012
WP--Mitchenson; PB--Casillas; Umpires: Home-Adam Harrel; Ist-Drew Ashcraft; Time: 2:19; A--3,783.