Scrappers’ woes continue, lose to Spikes 13-7
Harding grad Mark Herron makes Scrappers debut
NILES — Following a 12-day hiatus from Eastwood Field, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers returned home Tuesday to begin a three-game series against State College.
Well, at least some of the Scrappers returned to Eastwood Field.
Tuesday’s roster was void of 19 players — including 14 pitchers — who were part of the team the last time the Scrappers played at home on July 8. 15 new faces have since been added to the mix.
The roster makeover is the result of the Major League Baseball Draft, which gobbled up six Scrappers — including five pitchers. Another three pitchers were lost when they signed undrafted free agent contracts.
The post-draft portion of the season has not been kind to the Scrappers.
On Tuesday the Scrappers lost their sixth consecutive game, this time a 13-7 setback to the Spikes. The Scrappers (19-22-2) have lost 12 of their last 13 games and five pitchers combined to issue 10 walks on Tuesday. They also hit four batters and threw two wild pitches.
State College scored five runs in the sixth to break the game wide open. The Spikes scored those five runs on just two hits and added three runs in the following inning on just one hit.
Mahoning Valley scored its first run in the fourth. The Scrappers sent 12 batters to the plate in the eighth, with the first six batters all crossing the plate.
Since the league resumed play after the draft, the Scrappers are 0-5. In those five losses, the team has given up 62 runs. The pitching staff has issued a staggering 48 walks in 41 innings of work — including 15 walks in a seven-inning game on Saturday.
HOMECOMING FOR HARDING’S HERRON
Mark Herron Jr, a 2016 Warren G. Harding graduate, made his Scrappers debut after being added to the roster on Monday.
Herron was in the lineup as the Scrappers’ designated hitter. He went 1-for-4 with a single. He recently completed his senior season at Division I Delaware State and called the opportunity to play in a Scrappers uniform “pretty surreal.”
“I never thought I’d be playing here in a Scrappers uniform,” Herron said. “When I learned about what the Draft League was all about, my dad made a few phone calls and here I am. It’s really nice to be playing in front of family and friends at this level.”
Herron played at Eastwood Field several times while at WGH. He also played a year at Gateway Community College, which used Eastwood Field as its home stadium.
“I always loved playing here, it’s nice to play at a place that you’re familiar and comfortable with,” Herron said. “I’m looking forward to these next few weeks.”
Because of the COVID shutdown in 2020, Herron does still have a year of remaining college eligibility. However, he said he will “likely shut things down” if he is not signed as a free agent.
“I’m hoping to get a look or two, maybe catch an eye and sign a post-draft contract,” Herron said. “If not, that will probably be it, but I hope I can make something happen in the next few weeks.”