Scrappers win to put ugly loss behind them


Scrappers use big first inning to get back

to their winnings ways against Williamsport

By Steve Ruman

sports@vindy.com

NILES

Following just their second loss of the season on Sunday (8-1 versus Williamsport), the Mahoning Valley Scrappers were anxious to return to Eastwood Field and get back in the winning groove.

“Losing is part of the game, and you’re not going to win them all but [Sunday] was an ugly one and we wanted to get right back at it,” said Scrappers shortstop Jose Fermin. “After a game like that you just want to go right back in and take another crack.”

On Monday, MV did indeed have another shot at Williamsport, and this time the Scrappers (8-2) enjoyed a 6-2 win over the Crosscutters in front of 2,518 home fans.

Williamsport (6-4) scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second when shortstop Jonathan Guzman belted his first home run of the year, a two-out blast over the wall in left-center.

The Scrappers responded in the bottom half of the second by sending 10 men to the plate, scoring four runs. Center Fielder Tre Gantt pushed across the first run with a bases-loaded fielder’s choice. Fermin followed with a two-run single, then after the Scrappers loaded the bases again, Mitch Reeves walked to give the Scrappers a 4-1 advantage.

“We were seeing the ball really good in the inning and being patient at the plate,” Fermin said. “We were back to doing what we did in games where we had big innings.”

The Scrappers added a run in the third when Jason Rodriguez hit his first home run. They concluded the scoring in the sixth when a Fermin single scored Gantt.

Monday’s game featured the Scrappers debut of Richie Palacios, an infielder who was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the June draft. Palacios batted third as a designated hitter, and went 1 for 4.

Palacios recently completed his junior season at Towson University.

Before his call-up to MV, Palacios played in five games in the Arizona League where he batted .438 (7 for 16) with two home runs, six RBIs and a pair of stolen bases.

“This was something I worked for since when I was a young kid, and it all paid off,” Palacios said. “All of the hard work and dedication, you see it in first person and it pans out the way you want. It’s a great thing.”

The Palacios family name is no stranger to professional baseball. Richie’s brother Joshua was drafted by Toronto in 2016 and plays for Auburn, also of the New York-Penn League. Dad Richard reached the Triple-A level with the Detroit Tigers, while uncle Rey spent three seasons playing for the Kansas City Royals.

“To have my family accomplish so much, then to be able to carry on the family tradition is a great feeling,” Palacios said.

Palacios said it was also a great learning experience to have family members play pro ball ahead of him.

“They taught me how to keep level-headed, and to not get all caught up in everything going on around you,” Palacios said. “Just worry about yourself, worry about enjoying the game of baseball and enjoy the rewards of all of the hard work and dedication that it took to get here.”

The Scrappers and Crosscutters conclude their three-game series at 7:05 tonight before the Scrappers embark on a six-game road trip.

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