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Scrappers held to 1 hit in 7-1 loss to Keys

NILES — The Mahoning Valley Scrappers have now played 25 home games without any weather delays. No rainouts, no tarp pulls, no delays.

Wednesday during player introductions and the National Anthem, a very brief downpour passed over Eastwood Field. However, play went on as scheduled and at the end of the night Frederick left town with a 7-1 win over the Scrappers.

MV (18-27, 3-3) had taken the first two games of the three-game series.

Through five innings Wednesday, the Scrappers could only take hits off of Frederick starter Johnathan Pintaro, they couldn’t collect them. Pintaro pitched five innings without giving up a hit, but he did hit four batters and walked a pair while recording six strikeouts.

Conner Woods relieved Pintaro in the sixth and promptly surrendered a single to Dom Bucko. Woods didn’t give up any other hits in the frame, but Bucko came around to score on a pair of fielding errors.

Bucko’s single proved to be the Scrappers’ lone hit of the night.

Frederick was aided by four MV errors.

The Scrappers will begin a four-game series today at State College.

SECOND CHANCES

For most players in the MLB Draft League, the goal is to get noticed by Big League scouts and have your name called on draft day.

Scrappers outfielder Tyler Acosta accomplished the feat four years ago right out of high school. His goal now is to make an even stronger impression on the professional ranks.

Acosta, a native of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, was drafted in the 39th round of the 2018 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks just weeks after graduating from high school.

Acosta opted not to sign with the Diamondbacks and instead begin his collegiate career.

“For me it was just looking to mature as a player and as a person and to continue my education,” Acosta said. “I wasn’t a big bonus baby draft pick or anything like that. I knew that if I truly had a future in professional baseball another opportunity would present itself.”

Since 2018, Acosta has attended a pair of junior colleges, a year at Purdue during the 2020 COVID shutdown and a year at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He has seen the MLB Draft shrink to just five rounds in 2020. It was expanded to 20 rounds this year, still considerably smaller than the pre-COVID era.

“I was at John A. Logan College in the spring of 2020 when the shutdown first happened and we were the top-ranked junior college in the country,” Acosta said. “Things are going really good, then all of a sudden you’re just trying to figure out a way to stay in baseball shape, to stay sharp while you’re cut off from your teammates and coaches.”

“It’s been a tough couple of years, but that can be said for everyone playing the game at any level. I have no regrets.”

Acosta’s time away from the diamond was made easier due to the fact that his father Eddie went through a similar experience in terms of the draft experience. Eddie was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1991 draft. He opted for college, and was selected by, and signed with, the Milwaukee Brewers in the 1993 draft.

Eddie Acosta recently was named head coach at Judson University.

“I mean, to have a built-in trainer, coach and mentor, I couldn’t be more fortunate and blessed,” Acosta said.

Acosta’s first impressions of the Mahoning Valley are positive.

“The fans here are great, they are super supportive and I really like the area in general,” Acosta said.

The Illinois native said he is also fond of the fact that he “is closer to Steelers country.” Acosta said he grew up rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers “because it is easy not to root for the Bears.”

“I just always loved watching the passion of the Steelers; I was a huge Troy Polamalu fan,” Acosta said. “The hair, the intensity. How can you not be a fan?”

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