The Mahoning Valley Scrappers didn’t have much offense and it cost them a chance to gain some ground in their division of the New York-Penn League following Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the Brooklyn Cyclones at Eastwood Field.
Brooklyn moved up to 32-24 in its McNamara Division, while Mahoning Valley slipped to 32-24, staying behind Auburn (32-23) in the Pinckney Division.
Williamsport (31-23), whose game was not completed in time for this edition, was in a virtual tie with the Scrappers and Cyclones atop the wild card standings.
Third baseman K.C. Serna did his part, defensively, but the Scrappers had only two hits: by Jerrud Sabourin and Todd Hankins.
In all innings but the fourth, Brooklyn limited Mahoning Valley to three batters at the plate.
Serna made several nice stops, especially inning-ending line drive snags in the fourth and sixth.
He said that offense is just as important as defense, but there’s more damage to be done if flawless fielding isn’t executed.
“There were some good plays out there tonight and I was just fortunate to be part of it,” said Serna of Ventura, Calif.
Of Mahoning Valley’s anemic offense, Serna said that it’s a mixed bag.
“Sometimes you’ve got to give pitchers credit for having their stuff, but, other times, batters are getting themselves out by swinging at their pitches, trying to be a little too aggressive and not staying with your plan,” he said. “So, it’s a mixed bag of both and it didn’t go our way tonight.”
Serna says he plays a decent amount, usually rotating with Jordan Smith and Evan Frazar.
“It’s kind of a day-by-day basis, but I’m thankful every time I get in there. When I’m not in there, I’m cheering my team on for the ‘W’ anyways.”
Brooklyn’s Danny Muno and Javier Rodriguez had the game’s first two hits in the top half of the first inning and Muno reached third with one out. But Richard Lucas hit into a doubleplay that started with second baseman Todd Hankins to shortstop Tony Wolters to first baseman Jerrud Sabourin to end the Cyclones’ scoring chances.
With two outs, Carolos Leyva got Brooklyn’s first hit of the second inning, but Scrappers starter Joseph Colon struck out Xorge Carrillo looking to end the inning.
After two innings, Mahoning Valley had no runs, no hits and no errors, but in the third inning, the left-hand hitting Sabourin snapped that zephyr string with an opposite-field single down the third base line. The Scrappers were blanked again by a doubleplay when K.C. Serna’s grounder was hit to second baseman Leyva, who flipped the ball to shortstop Muno, who then threw to first.