By Dan Hiner
With the bases loaded and no one out, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers had an opportunity to beat the State College Spikes in the bottom of the 10th inning Monday night at Eastwood Field.
But Tyler Freeman grounded out to third base and Hosea Nelson hit into a double play to end the inning.
The Spikes won the game 4-3 with a run on a passed ball chargd to Scrappers catcher Jason Rodriguez in the 11th inning.
The Spike ended a potential walk-off by the Scrappers after using a five-man infield in the 10th.
“I wouldn’t bet that the same results would happen the next time that happens,” Scrappers manager Jim Pankovits said. “It’s tough for us when we get into the situation. It was the first time all year we had that situation come up.
“Extra-innings game, tied with a chance to win with that set — it’s certainly a learning situation. And hopefully we can learn from it, execute better and can win it the next time.”
Pankovits said the execution in extra innings didn’t result in the loss. He said wild pitches, defensive lapses and mistakes on the base paths were the biggest issues.
“All of that thrown together led to the extra innings,” Pankovits said. “I just think we shouldn’t have been in that situation to begin with.”
After State College took a 1-0 lead on a RBI groundout by Edwin Figuera, Nelson tied the game with a solo home run — his seventh of the season — to lead off the bottom of the second.
The Scrappers increased the lead to 3-1 on a sacrifice fly by Tre Gantt in the fifth and Freeman scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
The Spikes tied the game in the seventh with an RBI groundout by Brady Whalen and a run-scoring bloop single by Kevin Woodall.
Scrappers starter Yefferson Yannuzzi made his first appearance of the season for Mahoning Valley after being called up from the Arizona League on Sunday.
Yannuzzi struck out four and allowed one run on three hits and three walks in five innings.
The goal was to have the 21-year-old left-hander pitch roughly five innings.
“I thought he threw well,” Pankovits said. “He wasn’t as sharp as I think he probably can be. But he kept us in the game, went deeper in the game than we expected and gave us a chance to win. That’s all we ask for.”
By A Nose
The Scrappers had a chance to score the go-ahead run in the seventh.
Simeon Lucas tried to score from third on a wild pitch by Winston Nicacio, but catcher Alexis Wilson’s throw beat Lucas at the plate.
Lucas was the second Scrappers player to get thrown out at home in the game.
Clark Scolamiero was thrown out while trying to score from second base in the sixth inning.
State College relief pitcher Eli Kraus pitched his first game in northeastern Ohio since college.
Kraus, a Medina native, was a two-time first team all-Mid American Conference pitcher for Kent State before the Cardinals took him in the 24th round of the 2018 draft.
He allowed one run on two hits in 12⁄3 innings.
Nelson was named the NYPL player of the month for July, the league announced Monday. He hit .340 with five home runs and 22 RBIs in 28 games.
Pujols also received league recognition, being named the player of the week for July 30-Aug. 5. He hit .566 with two home runs and eight RBIs against Williamsport and Batavia.