Scrappers’ latest loss
drops them to 25-35
By Steve ruman
As the days grow shorter, so too do the hopes of a winning record for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
As the nights grow colder, chilling thoughts of another season ending without a trip to the playoffs are becoming reality.
On a Friday night which weather-wise was more suited for football, the Scrappers gave Valley residents more reason to look ahead to to gridiron season. In front of an Eastwood Field crowd of 3,767, the Scrappers fell to Williamsport, 4-1.
The loss drops the Scrappers (25-35) 10 games below .500 with 15 games left in the season. The Scrappers, who finished 30-45 in both 2012 and 2013, own the worst record in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League, and the league’s second-worst record.
Williamsport scored the game’s first run in the first inning off Scrappers starter Nick Maronde. Jiandido Trump and Wilmer Oberto reached on one-out singles, then Trump scored on a base hit by Derek Campbell.
Maronde, who was acquired by the Indians from the Anaheim Angels in July, worked four innings. He surrendered the one run — his first as a Scrapper in nine innings — while giving up three hits. He recorded five strikeouts.
The Scrappers tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the fourth when a D’Vone McClure triple plated Taylor Murphy. However, the Crosscutters scored three runs in the sixth off Scrappers reliever Anthony Vizcaya (1-6). Jose Pujols provided the big blow in the inning with a two-out double that scored a pair of runs.
Murphy, who went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, said the Scrappers continue to work hard despite their recent struggles.
“It can be tough at times, especially when you go straight from college to the next level,” Murphy said. “You struggle at times because in college you’re facing a No. 1 starter every Friday. Here, you go against the best guys drafted out of college night after night.”
Murphy is batting .278 while playing solid defense. He will represent the Scrappers next week in the NY-PL All-Star Game. He said that playing an everyday schedule takes its toll even on the most durable players.
“At this point in the season the body starts wearing down a bit,” Murphy said. “Even if you’re strong up top you don’t think your tired, but your swings start to show that you are.
“The fatigue definitely starts to show, but you just have to stay strong and stay focused and play through it all.”
Despite the challenges, Murphy — who was selected in the 18th round of the June draft out of Pacific University — said he wouldn’t want things any othe way.
“This way of life has been great, the Indians have been great and I’m just out here having fun playing every day,” Murphy said. “I’m living my dream. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
The Scrappers and Crosscutters continue their three-game series tonight at 7:05.
MLB.com released its up-to-date top 20 prospect lists for each Major League club. The Indians’ top 10 list includes two players currently on the Scrappers’ roster. Outfielder Bradley Zimmer is ranked No. 4 while catcher Francisco Mejia is ranked seventh.
Outfieler Mike Papi, who was with the Scrappers earlier this summer, is 15th on the list.
Former Scrappers on the list include; Francisco Lindor (1st), Tyler Naquin (3rd), Jose Ranierz (6th), Erik Gonzalaz (9th), Joey Wendle (10th), Jesus Aguilar (11th), Cody Anderson (12th), Dorssys Paulino (13th), Giovanny Urshela (14th), Carlos Moncrief (17th), Tony Wolters (19th) and Luis Logo (20th).