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Scrappers’ skid continues with 8th straight loss

Staff photo / Neel Madhavan. Mahoning Valley’s Chad Coles fires in a pitch during the Scrappers’ loss to the Crosscutters on Thursday.

NILES – Thursday’s Buck Night brought 4,152 lively fans to Eastwood Field, where hot dogs and drinks were purchased at a rapid pace.

Unfortunately, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers still were unable to buy a win.

The Scrappers scored three first-inning runs and took a two-run lead into the seventh inning, only to fall to Williamsport 9-7. The loss is the eighth straight for the Scrappers (10-9), who now fall 1.5 games behind the Crosscutters in the MLB Draft League standings.

The game featured a comedy of late-inning errors, resulting in a three-hour, 54-minute contest.

Trailing 6-4 after six innings, Williamsport scored three runs in the seventh to take its first lead of the game. The inning included a pair of wild pitches, two walks and an error.

The Crosscutters added a pair of ninth inning runs when Josue Urdandeta struck out swinging but reached base on by way of a wild pitch. On the play, Urdandeta advanced to third and a pair of base runners scored on a throwing error.

The Scrappers committed four errors on the night.

Williamsport swiped 10 bases, including five by leadoff hitter Matthew Etzel.

The two teams combined to leave 25 men on base.

Buck Anderson, Sean Tillmon, Reed Chumley and Xavier Carter each collected two hits for the Scrappers. Bobby Sparling hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth, his first of the year.

The two teams continue their three-game series today at 7:05 p.m.

TIM TIME

Tim Pozsgai naturally felt a little out of place Thursday as he watched the game from a seat along the first base line. It’s not that Pozsgai didn’t have one of the best seats in the house — he just wasn’t sitting in the perch behind home plate that he called home for seven years.

From 2013 to 2019, Pozsgai’s voice was synonymous with the Scrappers. During that span, he served as the Scrappers’ radio play-by-play announcer, calling over 500 games.

Thursday marked the first Scrappers game Pozsgai was able to attend since the end of the 2019 season.

“My love for the Mahoning Valley, the Scrappers and the people of this area is not a secret,” Pozsgai said. “I cherish the time I spent here, and I come back to the area any chance I get. I can’t say that about other places I’ve been, but I’m very sincere about my feelings when it comes to the Mahoning Valley.”

“With the Scrappers, I still find myself constantly checking scores, checking box scores.”

During Pozsgai’s time behind the mic, he called three no-hitters, was part of two playoff runs and introduced listeners to a countless number of future Major League players.

Pozsgai called games both at Eastwood Field and on the road.

“Being a radio guy in the minors is about as close to being a player as it gets in terms of the day-to-day experience,” Pozsgai said. “It’s grueling, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.”

Ironically, Pozsgai – a Mentor resident – is in close proximity to many of the players he once covered. Pozsgai is now a member of the Cleveland Guardians grounds crew. He is also part of history – though it’s still June, the Guardians have already tied a franchise record with seven home rainouts.

“Tons of tarp pulls already, but I love every minute of it,” Pozsgai said.

Pozsgai estimates that roughly seventy-five percent of the Guardians roster at one time played for the Scrappers. A handful of other former MV players are close to breaking through.

“It’s really special to see these guys and they remember you,” Pozsgai said. “You want to give them their space, but at the same time there is that acknowledgement of a bond because of our time with the Scrappers.”

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