By BILL ALBRIGHT
NILES -- After two disappointing nights in State College, Pa., the Mahoning Valley Scrappers were glad to get back to Eastwood Field Thursday night.
The Scrappers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League.
"We played a great all-around game and we needed this win," said Scrappers manager Rouglas Odor. "We had great pitching, played great defense and had some timely hitting. That is what we need to do during these next seven games. We have done it before and I know we can do it again. I truly believe that we can win some more games and hang in there."
The Scrappers broke on top in the third inning and they used the long ball to get the job done.
Jason Denham led off with a ground rule double and two outs later Matt McBride picked on a fastball from Kyle Pearson and deposited it over the left-field fence. McBride finished with three hits and a walk in five trips to the plate.
"I really wasn't looking for anything special," said McBride. "With a man on third and two outs, I was just trying to drive the ball hard somewhere and get a base hit. I just got hold of it and it went over the fence."
Williamsport cut the deficit in half in the fifth. With one out, Daniel Rios doubled down the right-field line, and after Albert Laboy went down on strikes, Chris Watts doubled to deep center, chasing Rios across the plate.
The Scrappers regained their two-run advantage in the sixth inning and they did it with two outs.
Evandy DeLeon was hit by a pitch, moved to second on an infield single by Josh Roberts, went to third on a walk issued to Jason Denham and scored when Adam Davis was walked.
The Scrappers added a pair of runs in the seventh; key hits were a leadoff single by McBride and a RBI double by Josh Rodriguez.
"You have to do that [extend the lead] to put pressure on the opposite team," noted Odor. "We were very disciplined at the plate and tonight, we were swinging at pitches in the strike zone."
Tomlin sparkles on mound
Josh Tomlin had a strong pitching performance, allowing just four hits and one run in 62/3 innings. He struck out nine and didn't walk anyone.
"My slider was working pretty good for me and that allowed me to spot my fastball," said Tomlin. "My change-up came to play for me tonight, I was able to throw it for strikes and it worked out for me."
Warren native Justin Byler was the designated hitter for Williamsport. Byler, who played high school baseball at Howland and Warren Harding and at Gulf Coast Community College, hit third for Williamsport. He was 0-for-4 as the designated hitter.
Barksdale cf4010Denham dh4120
Gonzalez ss4000Davis 2b3011
Byler dh4000Goedert 3b4000
Presley lf4010McBride c4232
Keel 3b4000Rodriguez ss4111
Rios 1b3110Realini 1b3010
Sakamoto ph1000Douglas cf4010
Laboy rf3010De Leon lf3110
Watts c3011Roberts rf3020
E--Gonzalez (24), Loop (1). DP--Williamsport 1. LOB--Williamsport 5, Scrappers 12. 2B--Rios (5), Watts (3), Realini (12), Denham (8), Rodriguez (8). 3B--Laboy (2).
HR--McBride (4). SB--Gonzalez 2 (15). CS--Denham (4), Davis (5).
Pearson L, 3-45 2-393352
Tomlin W, 7-26 2-341109
Loop S, 22 1-310001
PB--McBride (5). HBP--by Pearson (Realini); by Pearson (De Leon). Umpires_Home, Jon Saphire; First, Patrick Barbour. T--2:40. A--3,469.
HOW THEY SCORED
Scrappers 3rd -- Denham ground-rule doubled to right-center. Davis singled to first base, Denham to 3rd. Davis picked off (1-3-4). Goedert struck out. McBride homered to left field, Denham scored. Rodriguez walked. Realini hit by pitch, Rodriguez to 2nd. Douglas flied out (F-7). 2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Williamsport 5th -- Keel flied out (F-7). Rios doubled to right field. Laboy struck out. Watts doubled to center field, Rios scored. Perez struck out. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Scrappers 6th -- Realini grounded out (5-3). Douglas flied out (F-9). De Leon hit by pitch. Roberts singled to right field, De Leon to 2nd. Denham walked, De Leon to 3rd, Roberts to 2nd. Davis walked, De Leon scored, Roberts to 3rd, Denham to 2nd. Pitching change: Molleken replaced Pearson. Goedert grounded into force out (6-4), Davis out at 2nd. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 3 LOB
Scrappers 7th -- McBride singled to left field. Rodriguez doubled to left field, McBride scored. Realini reached on force attempt (E-6), Rodriguez scored, Realini to 2nd. Douglas flied out (F-9), Realini to 3rd. De Leon lined out (L-7). Roberts walked. Denham struck out. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 errors, 2 LOB