Mahoning Valley, which fell behind early, has lost three of its last four games.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES — With a drizzling rain falling early in the evening and black clouds overhead, Tuesday’s game between the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Staten Island Yankees started an hour and 23 minutes later than expected.
Michael Eisenberg probably wishes it hadn’t started at all.
Eisenberg, who has been the Scrappers’ most reliable starter this season, gave up seven runs (six of them earned) in 22⁄3 innings as Mahoning Valley fell 9-6 to the Staten Island Yankees in New York-Penn League action in front of 2,580 fans at Eastwood Field.
The Scrappers (13-15) have lost three of four games, falling three games behind Auburn in the Pinckney Division Standings.
Eisenberg was 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA entering the game and his biggest strength recently had been his control. He had walked just three batters in 28 innings with the Scrappers after struggling at Lake County earlier in the year, walking 22 in 34 innings.
On Tuesday, those control problems resurfaced.
Eisenberg hit four batters, walked another and gave up a grand slam to the Yankees’ Damon Sublett as part of a five-run second inning.
Eisenberg pitched for the Scrappers last season, going 3-1 with a 4.29 ERA. Before that, he earned Division III Pitcher of the Year honors with Marietta College, leading the Pioneers to the World Series title while winning MVP honors. He had a 13-2 record with a 1.33 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 115 innings of his college career.
Daniel Morales relieved Eisenberg in the third inning and pitched 22⁄3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits.
Scrappers cleanup hitter Todd Martin continued his torrid hitting, blasting his league-leading seventh home run into the right field bullpen in the fifth inning. Oneonta’s Christopher Carlson is second in the NYPL with six homers.
Martin also grabbed the league RBI lead with 27, moving one ahead of Vermont’s Bill Rhinehart. He finished 2-for-4 with two hits, a walk and a run scored.
Zink gets win
Ryan Zink (3-1), who once pitched a no-hitter at Eastwood Field against YSU while he was a freshman at Illinois-Chicago, gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings to get the win for Staten Island (16-12), which is six games behind Brooklyn in the McNamara Division standings.
Trailing 9-4 in the eighth, the Scrappers staged a small rally, scoring two runs on one hit, a walk, a hit by pitch and two errors. Yankees manager Mike Gillespie got tossed in the inning for arguing a call.
Jansy Infante had two hits and scored a run for Mahoning Valley, while Mark Thompson had two hits.
HOW THEY SCORED
Yankees 1st — Snyder reaches on two-base fielding error (E-3). Holliday flies out (F-9). Sublett strikes out swinging. Pruitt singles to center, Snyder scores. Nunez flies out (F-8). 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.
Scrappers 1st — White walks. Infante singles to left, White to 2nd. Valdes sacrifice bunt (1-4), White to 3rd, Infante to 2nd. Martin walks intentionally, White scores on wild pitch, Infante to 3rd. Castillo flies out (F-7), Infante scores. Brown grounds out (4-3). 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Yankees 2nd — Gil doubles to left. Crum bunt single, Gil to 3rd. Williams strikes out swinging. With Morris batting, Crum steals 2nd, Gil steals home. Morris strikes out swinging (2-3). Snyder hit by pitch. Holliday hit by pitch, Crum to 3rd, Snyder to 2nd. Sublett homers to right, Crum scores, Snyder scores, Holliday scores. Pruitt hit by pitch. Nunez walks. Gil pops out (F-4). 5 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Yankees 3rd — Crum flies out. Williams grounds out (1-3). Morris hit by pitch. Snyder singles to right, Holliday singles to left, Morris scores. Sublett grounds out (G-3). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Scrappers 3rd — Infante grounds out (4-3). Valdes grounds out (4-3). Martin singles to center. Castillo walks, Martin to 2nd. Brown singles to right, Martin scores, Castillo to 3rd. Arnal grounds out (4-3). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Scrappers 5th — Martin homers to right. Castillo doubles to left. Brown grounds out (6-3). Arnal lines out (LO-6). Douglas grounds out (4-3). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Yankees 6th — Snyder singles to right. Holliday pops out (PO-1). With Sublett batting, Snyder moves to 2nd on throwing error (E-1). Sublett walks. Pruitt doubles to right, Snyder scores, Sublett scores. Nunez flies out (F-8). Gil flies out (F-8). 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.
Scrappers 8th — Brown grounds out (G-3). Arnal singles. Douglas walks, Arnal to 2nd. Thompson hit by pitch, Arnal to 3rd, Douglas to 2nd. White reaches on fielding error (E-6), Arnal scores, Douglas scores on throwing error (E-6), Thompson moves to 2nd, White out at 2nd (4-6-5-6). Infante pops out (PO-6). 2 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB.