One more loss or a win by Aberdeen will eliminate the Scrappers from wild-card chase.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers kept their playoff hopes alive Monday by winning their fifth game in a row.
But it is getting late in the game for their postseason chances.
Because of Auburn's defeat of Jamestown, the Doubledays clinched the Pinckney Division title. And because of Aberdeen's win over Vermont, the Scrappers have their backs to the walls in the New York-Penn League's wild-card chase. One more Scrappers' loss or Aberdeen victory eliminates the Scrappers from this year's playoffs.
"We have no other choice but to win," said Scrappers manager Rouglas Odor after the Scrappers defeated the Crosscutters, 7-0, before 1,147 fans at Bowman Field.
"We are trying to finish on a good note and the guys are playing hard," Odor said. "The pitching has been solid all year and tonight, they did it again."
Wild second inning
After threatening in the second inning, the Scrappers broke the game wide open in the third when they took advantage of wildness on the part of Crosscutters starting pitcher Charles Benoit to score five runs.
Figuring in the scoring for the Scrappers were walks to Cirillo Cumberbatch, Adam Davis and Josh Rodriguez along with a three-run double off the bat of Matt McBride.
Mahoning Valley completed the scoring in the inning when Dustin Realini picked on a Benoit fastball and deposited it over the left-field fence for a 5-0 lead.
"I was looking for fastballs early, but the first pitch was a change-up down and I saw it pretty [well]," Realini said. "I felt he didn't want to walk me because the guy hitting behind me [Andy Lytle] is hitting .313.
"I figured I would look for one pitch, he put it there and I was able to put a good swing on it," Realini said.
The Scrappers extended their advantage to 7-0 in the sixth when Lytle led off with a double, and two outs later, Evandy DeLeon matched Realini's blast with a two-run shot to left.
For DeLeon, the roundtripper was his fifth.
"You have to take advantage of what the other team gives you," Odor said. "He [Benoit] was wild and we made him pay for his mistakes.
"McBride hit the big double, Realini got a big home run with a runner on base and DeLeon also did a good job by hitting another home run," Odor said. "It was just a great job of hitting by us with runners in scoring position."
Scrappers starter Erik Stiller did an outstanding job of mowing down the Crosscutters hitters.
Stiller worked seven innings, allowing just two hits. He struck out four, walked none and retired the final 13 Crosscutters batters he faced.
"The big thing for me is to pitch to contact, you know, let them hit it and if they [err], let the defense take care of it. And tonight, the defense did a great job," Stiller said. "I throw four different pitches and they were all working pretty well tonight in the strike zone.
"I just used different combinations of those pitches and let the defense work behind me," Stiller said.
"It seems like every time he goes out there the result is the same," said Odor of Stiller. "He has had just one bad outing and I think that was his first outing. After that, he has been solid by doing a good job of mixing up his pitches."
William Delage is scheduled to pitch for the Scrappers in tonight's game while the Crosscutters will counter with Kyle Pearson.
Denham dh5000Barksdale cf4020
Davis 2b4100Gonzalez ss4000
McBride c4113Peralta 3b3000
Realini 3b 3112Rios 1b4000
Lytle 1b2110Poni dh 3000
Douglas cf4000Picart 2b3000
Cumberbch cf 3110Watts c3010De Leon lf 3122Laboy rf3000
E--Rodriguez (11). DP--Scrappers 0, Crosscutters 0. LOB--Scrappers 4, Crosscutters 5. 2B--McBride (12), Lytle (10). HR--Realini (5), De Leon (5). SB--None. CS--None. SF--None.
Stiller W, 3-3720004
Benoit L, 1-32 2-325554
WP--None. Umpires--Home, Barry Lee; First, Jimmy Volpi. T--2:14. A-1,147.
HOW THEY SCORED
Scrappers, 3rd --Cirillo Cumberbatch walked and was sacrificed to second by Evandy DeLeon. Jason Denham struck out. Adam Davis and Josh Rodriguez walked to load the bases. All three scored on Matt McBride's double. Dustin Realini homered to left field, scoring McBride. Scrappers 5, Crosscutters 0.
Scrappers, 6th -- Andy Lytle doubled. Two outs later, Evandy DeLeon hit a two-run home run to left field. Scrappers 7, Crosscutters 0.