Hamrick stars in Scrappers win
NILES, OH- Caleb Hamrick’s brilliant start, coupled with some timely hitting, gave the Scrappers a 3-1 win over the Auburn Doubledays.
Hamrick kept the Auburn lineup honest with the slider, but used the fastball to put them away.
“Fastball command, first pitch strikes, and throwing a lot of strikes, that’s the way to keep them off balance. I was able to do that tonight.” stated Hamrick, when asked about his performance. “For the past six months, that’s the biggest thing. Last year, I was all over the place with my fastball and this year, I’m just focused on the fastball down.”
Retiring the first twelve hitters of the game in his professional debut, Hamrick bested that performance tonight, as he retired the first thirteen batters he faced on the evening.
In another five innings of work for Hamrick, he allowed only one hit, a double off of third base in the fifth inning, in an otherwise flawless performance.
His dominance isn’t going unnoticed, just ask pitching coach Scott Erickson.
“He did a great job. He is really doing a great job of fastball command down in the zone, which is one of the most important things we stress.” said Erickson about Hamrick. “He’s really looking smooth and repeating well out there. He’s looking almost effortless.”
While Hamrick was the story, the offense did enough to get Hamrick the win he definitely deserved.
After squandering back-to-back bases loaded opportunities in the third and fourth innings, the Scrappers finally broke through in the fifth off of Auburn reliever Casey Selsor.
Mahoning Valley lead-off hitter Claudio Bautista walked to start the inning and was moved to third thanks to an error on a pick-off attempt and a wild pitch from Selsor. Then, the Scrappers finally put a run on the board. Back-to-back-to-back doubles from Juan Herrera, Nellie Rodriguez, and Martin Cervenka gave Mahoning Valley a 3-0 lead; a lead they would not relinquish.
In the midst of allowing three runs in the inning, Selsor struck out four batters in the inning, including a dropped-strike three on which Josh McAdams was able to make it to first base.
Scoreless to that point, the Doubledays responded with a run in the sixth thanks to a double by catcher Erick Fernandez and a wild-pitch by Scrappers reliever Harold Guerrero, cutting the Scrappers lead to 3-1.
Some great relief pitching from both teams rendered that the final score, 3-1.
Tomorrow night is a big one for Mahoning Valley, as they will host two rehab appearances. Brett Myers and Blake Wood are slated to begin their rehab at Eastwood Field, the first game action for each of them in quite a long time.
It has been rumored that Indians closer Chris Perez will make an appearance for the Scrappers on Tuesday, but that has neither been confirmed nor denied by Mahoning Valley or their parent club, the Cleveland Indians.
The Scrappers will try to get back to .500 on the season tomorrow night, as Myers is set start the first inning for the Scrappers, while Wood follows in the second.
First pitch is slated for 7:05 pm from Eastwood Field.
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