By Steve ruman
Thursday Buck Nights always provide for a wild atmosphere for fans at Eastwood Field.
On Thursday, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Jamestown Jammers took their own trip to the wild side in the Jammers’ 6-4 win in 10 innings in front of 4,901 fans.
The “wildness” was provided by relief pitchers on both sides. The Scrappers took advantage of a pair of wild pitches in the seventh to take a 3-2 lead only to see Jamestown answer with a “wild” run of their own in the eighth.
In the 10th, Scrappers reliever James Stokes issued a pair of one-out walks. Both runners came around to score on a Chase Simpson double.
Appropriately, Simpson eventually came around to score on a wild pitch.
“For a lot of these guys, they are still looking to build their confidence and their belief in themselves,” said Scrappers pitching coach Geg Hibbard. “Tonight we saw a few instances where pitchers were trying to be too careful. Sometimes you have to be more aggressive in the strike zone.
“Walks, especially late in the game, they tend to come around and score.”
The Scrappers took an early lead with a two-run second inning. Right fielder Taylor Murphy started the rally with a one-out double. Josh McAdams struck out, but then the Scrappers put together three straight two-out singles to score a pair of runs.
Shane Rowland and Drake Roberts each picked up an RBI during the rally.
The Jammers immediately responded off Scrappers starter Kieran Lovegrove to tie the game at 2 in the third. Lovegrove gave up a single and a walk to start the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt, Michael Suchy plated a run on a groundout. The second run scored on a Kevin Krause double.
Lovegrove, roughed up for nine hits and eight runs (41/3 innings) in his first two starts, worked 41/3 innings, giving up the two runs on four hits while walking four.
“Kieran was more in the groove tonight than he was in his earlier starts,” Hibbard said. “There were times where he fell out of that groove, then he’d get back into it again. Overall. he showed some good things tonight.
“Earlier this spring in Arizona, Kieran struggled with his confidence, so his progress is promising.”
The game remained tied until the bottom of the seventh. Scrappers leadoff hitter Greg Allen was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.
Jamestown tied it again in the eighth thanks to a Taylor Gushue leadoff walk. Gushue advanced to second on another walk, went to third on a wild pitch then scored on a groundout.
The Scrappers and Jammers continue their four-game series tonight at 7:05.