By STEVE RUMAN
NILES — Though he knows his club faces an uphill battle, Mahoning Valley Scrappers manager Tim Laker isn’t about to concede a thing when it comes to his team’s chances of making the playoffs.
With 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Scrappers are four games behind Auburn in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League. They are also four back of Staten Island in the wild-card chase.
Monday, the Scrappers kept their slim postseason hopes alive with a 7-1 home win over the Jamestown Jammers in front of 2,229 fans.
“We know we need some help along the way, but right now we have to concentrate on taking care of business and holding up our end of the bargain,” Laker said. “We still have to play Auburn twice, so anything can happen.”
New additions help out
Laker’s positive outlook may be bolstered thanks to a pair of recent additions to the Scrappers’ roster who contributed to Monday’s win. Chris Nash and Karexon Sanchez combined to go 3-for-6 with four RBIs.
Both players were called up to the Scrappers this past week from the Gulf Coast League. Nash joined the team last Wednesday and is batting .348. Sanchez joined the team Sunday, and was inserted into the lineup for the first time Monday night. He paid immediate dividends when he tripled in a pair of runs in his first plate appearance.
Jamestown starter Jay Voss, who entered the game with an 0-5 record and a 7.91 ERA, was roughed up right from the start. The Scrappers sent eight men to the plate in a four-run first which included a pair of triples — the first time this season the Scrappers hit two three-baggers in the same frame.
Key two-run triple
After Adam White and Mark Thompson led off the inning with back-to-back singles, Sanchez cleared the bases with a liner that rolled to the wall in left-center. Sanchez, who stole 10 bases in 11 attempts in the GCL, had little trouble legging out a triple on the play.
“I saw Sanchez during spring ball, and he can do a lot of things to help an offense,” Laker said. “He drives the ball very well, and once he gets on base he can create havoc.”
Nash quickly extended the Scrappers’ lead to 3-0 with a base hit to center, then with two outs the Scrappers scored their fourth run of the night when Justin Jenkins tripled to the wall in center.
Meanwhile, Scrappers starter Dan Frega lifted his record to 6-2 by tossing five scoreless innings. He scattered four hits — all singles.
In the fifth, the Scrappers extended their lead to 5-0 when Nash knocked in White, who had reached base on an error and advanced to second when Sanchez was hit by a pitch.
“With Todd [Martin] out of the lineup, Nash is a great guy to have to throw into the four hole. He has power, and he never gets cheated at the plate,” Laker said.
Martin, who suffered a sprained knee earlier this month, is expected to miss the rest of the season. He leads the Scrappers in batting average (.360), home runs (eight) and RBIs (40).
Jammers get late run
After Garry Campfield pitched two perfect innings, the Jammers scored their only run of the game in the eighth off Scrappers reliever Garrett Reick. Justin Jacobs led off the inning with an infield single, then scored on a Bryan Petersen double.
The Scrappers answered with two runs in their half of the eighth. Jeff Hehr collected his seventh RBI in his last nine games with a single, then Cristo Arnal came across the plate on a fielding error by Jammers shortstop Osvaldo Martinez.
Curry 2b5020White cf5220
Jacobs dh5120Thompson ss5110
Antsbrgr 3b2000Sanchez 3b2112
Langley c4010Nash 1b4122
Peterson rf4011Brown rf4010
Lasater 1b4000Castillo c3000
Kaats lf4000Jenkins lf3121
Martinez ss4000Arnal dh4110
Crockett cf4010Hehr 2b4011
E—Lasater (5), Martinez (11), Sanchez (1), Landis (1). DP—Jamestown 3. LOB—Jamestown 10, Scrappers 7. 2B—Peterson (11). 3B—Sanchez (1), Jenkins (2). SB—Martinez (7). CS—Jenkins (1).
Voss L, 0-6474425
Frega W, 6-2540013
WP—Faria, Frega. HBP—by faria (Sanchez), by Faria (Castillo), by Campfield (Anetsberger). Umpires—Home, Benjamin May; Bases, Joe Hannigan. T—2:30. A—2,229.
HOW THEY SCORED
Scrappers 1st — Adam White singled to left. Matt thompson singled to right, White advanced to second. Karexon Sanchez tripled to left-center, White and Thompson scored. Chris Nash singled to center, Sanchez scored. Matt Brown struck out swinging. Alex Castillo popped out to the catcher. Justin Jenkins tripled to center, Nash scored. Cristo Arnal was called out on strikes. 4 runs, 5 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Scrappers 5th — White reached on a fielding error by the third baseman. Thompson grounded out to the pitcher, White advanced to second. Sanchez was hit by a pitch. White advanced to third, Sanchez advanced to second on a wild pitch. Nash reached on a fielders choice, White scored, Sanchez advanced to third when the second baseman attempted to throw White out at the plate. Brown flew out to right. Castillo was hit by a pitch, Nash advanced to second. Jenkins swung out swinging. 1 run, 0 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB
Jamestown 8th — Justin Jacobs reached on an infield single. Ryan Anetsberger popped out to second. Torre Langley singled to left, Jacobs advanced to second. Bryan Petersen doubled down the right field line, Jacobs scored, Langley advanced to third. Chris Pirigyi grounded out to third. Dustin Kaats flew out to right. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Scrappers 8th — Brown singled to right. Castillo hit into a 6-4-3 double-play, Brown was forced out at second 6-4. Jenkins singled to center. Arnal reached on an infield single, Jenkins advanced to second. Jeff Hehr singled to right, Jenkins scored, Arnal advanced to third. White reached on an error by the shortstop, Arnal scored, Hehr advanced to second. Thompson grounded out to shortstop. 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB