By Kevin Connelly
Base-running errors and inconsistent pitching were only part of the story Friday at Eastwood Field as the Mahoning Valley Scrappers had their five-game winning streak snapped by the Batavia Muckdogs, 10-3.
Trailing 4-3 at the start of the eighth inning, the Scrappers (15-24) brought in Harold Guerrero in hopes of keeping it a one-run game.
Four consecutive walks and a bases clearing double later, the Scrappers were looking at a five-run deficit. That proved to be more than enough runs to help the Muckdogs (18-19) snap a three-game losing streak.
Muckdogs starter Jarlin Garcia gave up a first inning two-run home run to Nellie Rodriguez, followed by a leadoff triple from Robel Garcia in the second inning. After that, he settled in and did not allow a hit to the final 10 batters he faced.
He left the game after 52/3 innings allowing just three runs and striking out seven Scrappers.
“We didn’t hit,” Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak said. “I don’t think [Garcia] was doing much different, we just didn’t hit.”
When they did hit, the Scrappers often found themselves getting thrown out trying to stretch out plays. That only added to their manager’s frustration.
“They made some bad decisions on the bases, there’s no doubt about that,” Kubiak said. “That’s what this level’s about, though.”
Caleb Hamrick started the game for the Scrappers, but was pulled in the fifth inning with two runners on base and a one-run lead.
Trevor Frank allowed one of those runs to score to tie the game. Muckdogs’ left fielder Austin Dean broke the 3-3 tie in the sixth inning with a solo home run, giving them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Our pitching just broke down,” Kubiak said. “It wasn’t good from the beginning.”
“I mean we just came off a really tough series whether that was part of it, I think it was, it just happens. We haven’t had a game like this in a long time.”
Scrappers pitchers walked six Muckdogs, which was especially painful in the five-run eighth. After Guerrero walked the bases loaded and walked in a run, Kubiak called on Manuel Carmona to try and limit the damage.
Felix Castillo had other ideas, as he cleared the bases and gave the Muckdogs an 8-3 lead. A two-run ninth inning sealed the victory for Batavia.
“You’re gonna be good, and some day’s you’re not gonna be good,” Kubiak said. “They’re gonna go out there and make mistakes, they’re not gonna pitch, they’re not gonna hit, it’s the game of baseball.”
For the Muckdogs, their offense finally got going as they pounded out 12 hits. Eight of their nine batters recorded a hit as they were able to extend their four-game lead over the Scrappers in the Pinckney Division.
After a solid start from Garcia, CJ Robinson and Casey McCarthy came in and pitched 31/3 innings of shutout relief. They also struck out five Scrappers, while walking two.
Although the crowd of 5,104 didn’t see the result they wanted, almost all stayed for a post-game fireworks show.
The final game of the two-game series is today at Eastwood Field. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
batavia 10, SCRAPPERS 3
Perez cf6110Mejia cf3000
Bohn ss5020Bautista 2b4020
Romero 2b4122Herrera ss3100
Munoz 1b4222Rodrigz 1b3122
Lopez dh4110Hendrix dh4000
Dean lf4221Garcia 3b4110
Ortiz 3b4112McAdams lf3010
Casti c5013Cervenka c3011
Johnson rf3200Ruiz rf3000
E—Garcia. DP—Batavia 1. LOB—Batavia 9, Scrappers 5. 2B—Rodriguez, McAdams, Bohn, Romeo, Munoz, Lopez, Castillo. 3B—Garcia. HR—Rodriguez, Dean.
Garcia W, 1-15.233327
Robinson H,1 1.120013
Frank L, 0-3 2.221101
Umpires: Home Joe George; Bases Mike Savakinas. T—2:49. A—5,104.