By Steve Ruman
Mahoning Valley (22-29) has dropped four straight.Tri-City was able to prevail despite seven errors.
NILES — The Tri-City ValleyCats had the best of both worlds Saturday night at Eastwood Field when they began a three-game series against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
The ValleyCats had the backing of a large gathering of their fans, who filled a section of the stadium along the first base line. The Tri-City faithful converged on Eastwood Field in large part to cheer on ValleyCats outfielder J.B Shuck, a Galion (Ohio) native and a product of Ohio State University.
The ValleyCats also had the luxury of playing on the road, which to them has been sweeter than home this summer. The Cats are 9-18 at home this season, but lifted their road mark to 12-10 with a 7-5 victory over the Scrappers in front of 3,665 fans.
Mahoning Valley (22-29) has dropped four straight.
The ValleyCats were able to prevail despite committing seven errors in the contest.
Shuck, who was drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the June draft, responded with a big performance. He led off the game with a single, and finished 3-for-5 with an RBI.
“That was fun. My family has supported me every step of the way, so for them to be able to come and see me at this stage is a thrill,” Shuck said. “So far, we’ve played mostly in New York and in other parts of the East Coast, so the family has had this series marked on their calendars for a long time.”
Shuck’s leadoff single sparked a two-run inning for the ValleyCats, who scored both runs on a Phil Disher home run.
Disher leads the New York-Penn League in home runs (11), RBIs (41) and hits (61).
The ValleyCats took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Shuck plated a run with an RBI single. But the Scrappers stormed back to take a 4-3 advantage in the bottom half of the frame.
The Scrappers scored on an RBI double off the bat of Robby Alcombrack, and a two-run homer from Ryan Blair. They also benefited from a pair of errors by Tri-City third baseman Danny Meier, who ultimately committed four miscues on the night.
The ValleyCats tallied single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings to complete their scoring. Meier made up for his blunders in the fifth inning by ripping a solo home run deep over the center field wall that knotted the game at 5-5.
The Scrappers scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI groundout by Isaias Velasquez. Despite going 0-for-4, Velasquez reached base on an error. He has now reached safely in 27 straight ball games.
Shuck lifted his batting average to .310 with his three-hit performance. Afterwards, he admitted that he was playing against an organization he grew up rooting for.
“I loved the Indians growing up, but now I have to learn to be an Astros fan,” Shuck said with a laugh. “Home is less than two hours from Cleveland, so I spent a lot of time at Jacobs Field as a kid. That’s what makes this night extra special.”
The Scrappers and ValleyCats continue their three-game series tonight at 6:05.
Shuck cf5131Velasquez ss3000
Simunic 2b4122Phelps 2b4010Disher 1b4112Chisenhall ss4000
Flores dh5011Tice 3b2000
Castro c4000Webb cf4010
Meier 3b5111Alcombrck 1b4010
Gaston rf5010Blair lf4020
Williams lf4320Valadez c1000
Ramirez ss4010Hernandez rf2000
E—Meier 4 (6), Ciriaco (2), Ramirez (10), Phelps (1), Creps (1). DP—Scrappers 1. LOB—Jamestown 11, Scrappers 8. 2B—Simunic (1), Alcombrack (6). HR—Disher (11), Meier (4), Blair (2). SB—Williams (2), Shuck (5), Hernandez (2). CS—Meier (3), Phelps (2).
Ciriaco W, 2-03 2-310024
Wabick S, 21 1-310000
WP—Noguera, Ciriaco, Creps, Roberts 2. Umpires—Home, Matt Jones; First, Mathieu Moisans; T—3:05; A—3,665.
HOW THEY SCORED
Tri-City 1st — J.B. Shuck singled to right. Andy Simunic reached on a fielders choice, Shuck was forced out at second 4-6. Phil Disher homered to left field, Simunic scored. David Flores lined out to center. Jason Castro struck out swinging. 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Tri-City 2nd — Danny Meier was called out on strikes. Jon Gaston reached on a throwing error by the second baseman. Marques Williams reached on a fielders choice, Gaston was forced out at second 4-6. Ronald Ramirez walked, Williams advanced to second. Shuck singled to right, Williams scored, Ramirez advanced to second. Simunic walked, Ramirez advanced to third, Shuck advanced to second. Disher lined out to left. 1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 3 LOB
Scrappers 2nd — Jeremie Tice grounded out to the shortstop. Donnie Webb walked. Robbie Alcombrack doubled to the corner in right, Webb scored. Ryan Blair homered to right, Alcombrack scored. Michael Valadez walked. Ramon Hernandez reached on a fielders choice, Valadez was forced out at second 5-4. Isaias Velasquez reached on a throwing error by the third baseman, Hernandez advanced to third, Velasquez advanced to second on the throw. Cord Phelps reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, Hernandez scored, Velasquez advanced to third. Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out to second. 4 runs, 2 hits, 2 errors, 2 LOB
Tri-City 4th — Gaston reached on an infield single. Williams reached on a fielders choice, Gaston was forced out at second 1-6. Ramirez reached on an infield hit, Williams advanced to second. Shuck lined out to right. Simunic singled to right, Williams scored, Ramirez advanced to second. Disher reached on a fielders choice, Simunic was forced out at second 6-4. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Scrappers 4th — Blair grounded out to second. Valadez singled to center. Valadez advanced to second on a wild pitch. Hernandez reached on an infield single, Valadez advanced to third. Velasquez grounded out to shortstop, Valadez scored. Phelps grounded out to third. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Tri-City 5th — Flores flew out to left. Castro flew out to right. Meier homered to center. Gaston grounded out to first. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 0 LOB.
Tri-City 6th — Williams singled to left. Williams advanced to second on an error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Ramirez flied out to right. Shuck flew out to center, Williams advanced to third. Simunic doubled to right, Williams scored. Disher walked. Simunic advanced to third, Disher advanced to second on a wild pitch. Flores struck out swinging. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 LOB
Tri-City 8th — Shuck singled to right. Shuck stole second. Simunic struck out looking. Shuck advanced to third on a wild pitch. Disher grounded out to the pitcher. Flores singled to center, Shuck scored. Castro grounded out to second. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB