The Scrappers will finish their season with a three-game road trip.
By STEVE RUMAN
NILES — The boys of summer on Tuesday bid farewell to area baseball fans, as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers played their final home game of the 2007 season.
In front of 3,214 hometown fans, the Scrappers fell to Williamsport 8-6.
The Scrappers (37-34) now conclude their season with a three-day road trip to State College.
“It would have been nice to go out with a win, because the fans here have been great all season long,” said Scrappers coach Anthony Medrano. “They were with us until the last out.”
Unfortunately for the Scrappers, they faced the hottest team in the New York-Penn League. Williamsport (33-40) has won 10 of its last 12 games, including five straight.
On Monday, the Crosscutters handed the Scrappers a 14-4 setback.
Just as they did on in the opener of the two-game series, the Crosscutters came out swinging and scored right from the start. Derrick Mitchell doubled down the right field line with one out in the top of the first, then scored on a Matt Spencer base hit to center.
Williamsport extended its lead to 3-0 in the second. Caleb Mangum led off the frame with a single, then advanced to third on a Mike Durant ground-rule double. Both runners then crossed the plate as Jamie Morales and Phillip Cuevas each collected an RBI.
The Crosscutters added a run in the third on a Spencer RBI double. They then took a 6-0 lead in the fifth when Mitchell belted a towering two-run homer to left field.
In the two-game series, the Crosscutters’ 3-through-5 hitters of Mitchell, Tyler Mach and Spencer were a combined 13-of-25 with 10 RBIs.
“It’s crazy how that whole team caught fire. They are playing some amazing baseball right now,” Medrano said. “People always say that hitting is contagious. This is an example of just how true that is.”
Getting on the board
The Scrappers finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth when they sent eight men to the plate during a three-run inning. Mark Thompson, Jansy Infante and Nick Petrucci collected RBI singles during the frame.
After Mangum homered to lead off the sixth, the Scrappers again responded with two runs in their half of the frame. Osiel Flores hit his first home run of the season to cut the Scrappers’ deficit to 7-4. Then after Jeff Hehr was hit by a pitch, he eventually scored on a fielding error by Cuevas, the Crosscutters’ shortstop.
Each club added a ninth-inning run, but the Scrappers’ final rally attempt was halted when Jansy Infante grounded out to the pitcher with the bases loaded to end the ball game.
The Scrappers left 14 men on base during the course of the night.
“It was nice to see us battle back and not give up,” Medrano said. “We just wasted too many opportunities.”
Joanniel Montero (7-3) suffered the loss for Mahoning Valley. Montero pitched 4 1/3 innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits. Chance Chapman (5-3) surrendered three runs through four innings to pick up the win.
“We would have liked to have won more games here, but we enjoyed some success and a lot of these guys made tremendous progress during the course of the summer,” Medrano said.
The season was especially rewarding for Boardman native Jeff Hehr, a Cardinal Mooney graduate who was drafted by the Indians earlier this summer.
“Playing in front of family and friends is something I’ll always remember. This was a special summer,” Hehr said.
Brown cf3210White cf5120
Mitchell dh4222Thompson ss2012
Mach 2b5110Infante dh5121
Spencer rf5022Nash 1b5010
Taylor lf5000Sanchez 3b4010
Mangum c4221Petrucci lf4011
Durant 1b4120Montero rf4110
Morales 3b4001Flores c4121
Cuevas ss3001Hehr 2b3200
E—Cuevas (11), Lin (2), Sanchez (3), Hehr (6). LOB—Williamsport 6, Scrappers 15. 2B—Mitchell (15), Durant (8), Spencer (9), White (9). HR—Mitchell (6), Mangum (1), Flores (1). S—Cuevas, Thompson. SF—Thompson.
Chapman W, 5-3583336
Melendez S, 2111130
Montero L, 7-34 1-376611
WP—Melendez, Holt. Balk—Lin. HBP—by Tejada (Hehr). Umpires—Home, Keith Rogowski; Bases, Harry Oschip. T—3:11. A—3,356.
HOW THEY SCORED
Williamsport 1st — Dominic Brown flew out to center. Derrick Mitchell doubled to left. Tyler Mach popped out to first. Matt Spencer singled to right-center, Mitchell scored. Michael Taylor lined out to shortstop. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Williamsport 2nd — Caleb Mangum singled to right-center. Mike Durant doubled down the left field line. Jamie Morales grounded out to second, Mangum scored, Durant advanced to third. Phillip Cuevas grounded out on a sacrifice bunt 6-3, Durant scored from third. Brown lined out to first. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Williamsport 3rd — Mitchell flew out to right. Mach singled to left. Spencer doubled to right-center, Mach scored. Taylor popped out to shortstop. Mangum flew out to right. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Williamsport 5th — Brown walked. Mitchell homered to left, Brown scored. Mach was called out on strikes. Spencer struck out swinging, was thrown out 2-3. Taylor
Scrappers 5th — Jeff Hehr walked. Adam White hit a ground-rule double over the wall in right. Mark Thompson flew out to right, Hehr scored, White advanced to third. Jansy Infante reached on an infield single, White scored. Chris Nash singled to left, Infante advanced to second. Karexon Sanchez was called out on strikes. Nick Petrucci singled to center, Infante scored, Nash advanced to third. Lucas Montero grounded out to second. 3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Williamsport 6th — Mangum homered to left. Durant flew out to left. Morales grounded out to shortstop. Cuevas struck out swinging. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Scrappers 6th — Osiel Flores homered to center. Jeff Hehr was hit by a pitch. White reached on an infield single, Hehr advanced to second. Thompson hit a sacrifice bunt, was thrown out 1-4, Hehr advanced to third, White advanced to second. Infante flew out to center. Nash reached on a fielding error by the shortstop, Hehr scored, White advanced to third. Sanchez struck out swinging. 2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB
Williamsport 9th — Cuevas grounded out to the pitcher. Brown singled to center. Mitchell walked. Mach was called out on strikes. Spencer reached on an error by the second baseman, Brown scored, Mitchell advanced to third. Taylor lined out to center. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 LOB
Scrappers 9th — Petrucci grounded out to shortstop. Montero walked. Flores reached on an error by the shortstop. Hehr popped out to second. Montero advanced to third, Flores advanced to second on a wild pitch. White walked. Thompson walked, Montero scored, Flores advanced to third, White advanced to second. Infante grounded out to the pitcher. 1 run, 0 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB