Errors doom Scrappers in 6-3 loss to Crosscutters
NILES, OH- A cavalcade of errors doomed the Scrappers, as they lost their second straight game of their three-game set with the Williamsport CrossCutters by a final score of 6-3.
“Our defense has been a little shoddy lately, which I don’t understand,” said Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak. “I’m just going to back off and see if we can give them a little rest.”
The Scrappers put up four errors, thanks only to the kind heart of the Mahoning Valley official scorer. On three more occasions, the CrossCutters were awarded hits when they should have been marked as errors. The lapses on defense hurt, but the Scrappers were still in the thick of things until the sixth inning.
Scrappers reliever Briely Puerta entered the game with a 3-3 tie when things ran amuck. Right fielder Dylan Cozens hit a leadoff single, subsequently moved to second on a stolen base, and took advantage of a terrible error from Robel Garcia, one of three for him on the night. Cozens was followed by Logan Pierce who smacked a double down the first base line with the infield in and gave the CrossCutters a 4-3 lead. Another single moved Pierce to third, but he was picked off, giving the Scrappers the hope of leaving the inning only down a run. Back-to-back wild pitches squashed those dreams, as both runners moved into scoring position which allowed Corey Bass to bring them in and give Williamsport a 6-3 lead.
While the Scrappers terrible defense forced them into a loss, Indians third-round draft pick Dace Kime did get his first professional start. In two innings of work, Kime threw 30 pitches and 16 strikes, allowing two hits and one earned run. He was followed by Matt Whitehouse who put up solid numbers as well. In three innings, Whitehouse allowed no earned runs, while striking out three.
Offensively, the Scrappers looked to be hot, as they put a crooked number on the board in the first. A leadoff walk from Cody Ferrell started the game for the Scrappers and he was followed by Paul Hendrix who doubled. With men on first and third and one out, Nellie Rodriguez stepped to the plate and crushed a mammoth three-run homerun over the fence in centerfield that gave the Scrappers a 3-1 lead. The blast was remembered by some as the first home run that cleared the centerfield wall in Eastwood Field. It was the first round tripper of the year for Rodriguez and the last run scored by the Scrappers on the evening.
After giving up three runs, however, Shane Martin settled in nicely for the CrossCutters. In five innings, he allowed three runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking one. All three runs of his runs and three of the four hits he allowed came in the first inning. After the shaky start, a single and an error were the only blemishes for Martin, as he retired 12 of the next 14 batters he faced.
With the loss, the Scrappers move to 7-12 on the year, while the CrossCutters improve to 10-7. Mahoning Valley will try to avoid the sweep from Williamsport on Saturday at 7:05 pm.