Mahoning Valley’s 10-run loss to Williamsport matched a season low.
By STEVE RUMAN
NILES — Mahoning Valley Scrappers starting pitcher Heath Taylor entered Monday’s game against Williamsport hoping to pitch seven quality innings in order to log enough work to qualify for the New York-Penn League earned-run average title.
By the time Taylor exited the game in the fifth inning, the dream had turned into a nightmare.
On a Labor Day afternoon affair at Eastwood Field, Taylor and the rest of the Scrappers, well, labored throughout the day in a 14-4 loss to the Crosscutters.
The 10-run loss in front of 2,885 fans matched the Scrappers’ worst defeat of the 2007 season.
Caleb Mangum and Matt Spencer each knocked in three RBIs for Williamsport while three other Crosscutters — Derrick Mitchell, Tyler Mach and Michael Taylor — each knocked in a pair of runs.
Taylor entered the contest with a 3-2 record and a 1.37 earned run average. In what was his final start of the season, Taylor’s ERA rose to 2.35.
Dylan Owen of Brooklyn leads the league with a 1.65 ERA.
Williamsport (32-40) roughed up Taylor right from the start. The Crosscutters knocked out four hits in the top of the first, including a pair of extra base hits, to grab a quick 3-0 lead.
Dominic Brown began the hit parade when he lined the first pitch of the game down the right field line for a triple.
Mitchell followed with a run-scoring single, then Mitchell advanced to third when Mach hit a ground-rule double that bounced into the right field stands.
Mitchell scored on a groundout, then Mach crossed the plate on a Tim Kennelly base hit.
Williamsport added a run in the fourth when Spencer led off with a double, then later scored on a Mangum sacrifice fly.
The Crosscutters broke the game open with a three-run fifth. Mitchell, Mach and Taylor led off the frame with three straight singles, which gave Williamsport a 5-0 lead. Mangum then extended the advantage to 7-0 with a two-run double.
“The thing is, Heath threw very well today but he was hurt by some tough breaks in the field and some jam shots,” Scrappers coach Anthony Medrano said. “He threw hard, but sometimes that’s how this game goes.”
Medrano is managing the Scrappers during the final week of the season after Tim Laker left the team for personal reasons.
Down 7-0, the Scrappers received a boost in the bottom of the fifth when Adam White hit his first professional home run — a three-run line shot to right field.
“With two on, I was just looking to hit the ball hard and get the runner home from third,” White said. “It felt good circling the bases. I hadn’t hit a home run since my redshirt freshman year in college.”
Any hopes of the Scrappers continuing a rally were erased in the eighth when Williamsport sent 11 men to the plate while scoring six runs. Spencer supplied the big hit in the frame when he belted a three-run homer deep over the right field wall.
Drew Naylor pitched six innings for the Crosscutters to lift his record to 8-6. The righty struck out 11 while surrendering three runs on five hits.
“This was just one of those days,” Medrano said. “We’ve been playing well as of late, but today we had some things go wrong early, and everything just snowballed from there. We’ll just have to forget this one and come back tomorrow and start over.”
Williamsport has won nine of its last 11 games. Mahoning Valley falls to 37-33.
The two teams conclude their two-game set tonight in what is the final home game for the Scrappers’ 2007 season.
Brown cf5110White cf5133
Williams ph-lf1000Thompson ss4000
Mitchell 3b4332Infante 3b3000
Morales 3b1000Nash 1b4000
Mach 2b3332Sanchez dh3000
Sorgi 2b1000Jenkins rf3000
Taylor lf-rf4212Valadez c4220
Spencer rf-cf5223Petrucci lf4000
Kennelly dh5121Hehr 2b4121
E—Morales (1), Durant (6), Hehr (5), Petrucci (12). PB—Valadez (5). DP—Williamsport 1, Scrappers 2. LOB—Williamsport 8, Scrappers 7. 2B—Mach (19), Spencer (8), Mangum (9), Cuevas (2), Mitchell (14), Valadez (2), Hehr (4). 3B—Brown (5). HR—Spencer (9), White (1). SB—Cuevas (4).
Naylor W, 8-66533311
Austin S, 3321011
Taylor L, 3-34 2-3107713
WP—Taylor, Morales. Umpires—Home, Harry Oschip; Bases, Keith Rogowski. T—2:41. A—2,855.
HOW THEY SCORED
Williamsport 1st — Dominic Brown tripled down the right field line. Derrick Mitchell reached on an infield single, Brown scored. Tyler Mach reached on a ground-rule double, Mitchell advanced to third. Michael Taylor grounded out to shortstop, Mitchell scored, Mach advanced to third. Matt Spencer flew out to left. Tim Kennelly singled to left, Mach scored. Caleb Mangum struck out swinging. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Williamsport 4th — Spencer hit a bloop double down the left field line. Kennelly reached on an error by the second baseman, Spencer advanced to third. Mangum flew out to left, Spencer scored. Mike Durant singled up the middle, Kennelly advanced to second. Phillip Cuevas flew out to center, Kennelly advanced to third. Durant advaned to second on a wild pitch. Brown grounded out to first. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB
Williamsport 5th — Mitchell singled to left. Mach reached on an infield single, Mitchell advaned to second. Taylor singled to left, Mitchell scored, Mach advanced to second. Mach advanced to third, Taylor advanced to second on a throwing error by the left fielder. Spencer popped out to the second baseman. Kennelly popped out to the first baseman. Mangum doubled to the wall in right. Durant struck out looking. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Scrappers 5th — Mike Valadez doubled down the left field line. Nick Petrucci struck out swinging. Jeff Hehr singled to center, Valadez advanced to third. Adam White homered to left, Valadez and Hehr scored. Mark Thompson struck out swinging. Jansy Infante grounded out to second. 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Williamsport 6th — Cuevas doubled to left. Brown struck out swinging. Cuevas stole third. Mitchell walked. Mach flew out to center, Cuevas scored. Mitchell advanced to second on a wild pitch. Taylor walked. Spencer popped out to short. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Scrappers 6th — Chris Nash flew out to right. Karexon Sanchez walked. Justin Jenkins walked, Sanchez advanced to second. Valadez
Williamsport 8th — Cuevas singled to left. Brown grounded out to second, Cuevas advanced to second. Cuevas advanced to third on a wild pitch. Mitchell hit a ground-rule double to left, Cuevas scored. Mach singled up the middle, Mitchell scored. Taylor walked, Mach advanced to second. Spencer homered to to deep right, Mach and Taylor scored. Kennelly reached on an infield single. Mangum struck out swinging. Durant singled to right, Kennelly advanced to second. Cuevas singled to right, Kennelly scored, Durant advanced to third. Jermaine Williams grounded into a fielders choice, Cuevas was forced out at second 6-4. 6 runs, 7 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Scrappers 9th — Valadez reached on an error by the shortstop. Petrucci flew out to right. Hehr doubled down the left field line, Valadez scored. White singled up the middle, Hehr advanced to third. Thompson grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, White was forced out at second 6-4. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB