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Scrappers winning streak ends at 3 games

NILES — The Mahoning Valley Scrappers couldn’t make it four in a row Wednesday night as they fell to Williamsport 8-3. The loss snapped the Scrappers’ three-game winning streak.

Wildness, which has been a nagging issue for the Scrappers (22-26-2) throughout the season, resurfaced after they had put together three consecutive strong showings. Williamsport scored two runs in the first inning on just one hit. Ramon Bramasco led off the game with a triple and scored on a wild pitch. Then, four walks pushed across the second run of the game.

The Scrappers tied the game at 2-2 in the third inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Bobby Sparling (3-for-4) and Jason Hinchman. The Crosscutters took the lead for good in the fifth thanks to a two-run home run off the bat of Trey Steffler. The Crosscutters added four runs in the seventh.

Zaid Walker plated the Scrappers’ third run with an RBI single in the sixth.

THE PRIDE OF NILES

When Tyler Srbinovich took to the Eastwood Field mound last Thursday, he became the first true hometown boy to ever play for the Niles-based Scrappers.

Srbinovich is a 2017 graduate of Niles McKinley High School. In his first appearance, Srbinovich worked a scoreless inning, giving up a hit while recording a strikeout.

“That was pretty crazy; that was a bigger stage than I’ve ever been on,” Srbinovich said. “I felt the electricity right away when I ran in from the bullpen.”

“Playing at this level in front of people who raised me, who taught me the game and who supported me throughout my career was pretty special.”

Since joining the team a week ago, Srbinovich has worked 4 1/3 innings in the course of three games. He has given up one earned run and four hits.

Srbinovich recently completed his senior season at Waynesburg University, where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice. He’ll join the police academy Aug. 16. Though his future includes solving crime, Srbinovich knew it would be a crime not to give a future in baseball one more shot.

“I’m here for the same reason as always,” Srbinovich said. “Ever since I was a kid, I played baseball first and foremost because I just love the game. That’s why I’m here more than anything. Beyond that it’s always been my dream to reach the next level. This league presents me with the opportunity to keep that dream alive.”

“I hope to finish strong this season then have a strong offseason. From there, who knows.”

Srbinovich said that the past week has been “an eye-opening experience” which has taught him a great deal about the game.

“Even when I’m not pitching, I’m watching, I’m picking up all bits of information from pitchers and hitters,” Srbinovich said. “There is some great talent in this league, guys who have played at big-time schools. I’ve played this game for sixteen years but I feel like I’m learning something new every day.”

Srbinovich likely will enter the game in relief tonight when the Scrappers host the Crosscutters.

sports@tribtoday.com

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