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Scrappers fall further off playoff pace with loss to Renegades

Late rally comes up short as Hudson Valley tops Scrappers 6-5

Scrappers fall further off playoff pace with loss to Renegades
August 11, 2013
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Niles, OH – With the Mahoning Valley Scrappers winning the first two games of a three game set with the Hudson Valley Renegades, the Scrappers could at least keep a little hope of a playoff berth heading into the All-Star Game. That hope dropped a bit on Sunday, as Mahoning Valley squandered a late lead and eventually fell to Hudson Valley 6-5.

The Scrappers made a late push in the bottom half of the eighth and ninth innings, but fell just short. Through Sunday’s slate of games, the Scrappers now sit 9.5 games back in the Pinckney division of the New York-Penn League and 7.5 out in the race for the wild card. 

Leading 2-1 heading into the top half of the eighth, the Scrappers looked to be in good position for a weekend sweep.  But relief pitcher Alexis Paredes imploded and allowed five earned runs in the inning. In that inning, Paredes got leadoff man John Alexander to ground out, but then allowed back-to-back walks and three consecutive hits. After getting Granden Goetzman to fly out for the second out of the inning, Julian Ridings doubled to put the final nail in Paredes’ coffin. Paredes finished the evening lasting one inning allowing five earned runs on four hits and two walks.

Now heading into the bottom half of the eighth, the Scrappers trailed 6-2 and needed a shot in the arm badly. Though they were able to push across two innings in the eighth and one in the ninth, they left the bases loaded in both innings. Mahoning Valley finished the game 4-14 with runners in scoring position and left 15 runners on base, both very poor numbers that led to a tough loss.

Ryan Battaglia led the Mahoning Valley offense with three hits, including his third home run of the year and his third double of the year. The catcher-turned-first baseman also scored three runs. Martin Cervenka and Cody Ferrell both added three hits. Nellie Rodriguez, who has led the team in hitting nearly the entire season, lost his grip on the lead to James Roberts by going 0-4 on the night. Rodriguez now holds a .309 average while Roberts sports a .311. 

Mahoning Valley starting pitcher Cole Sulser, who struggled in his last start lasting just 1 2/3 innings and allowing two earned runs on two hits and three walks, dominated Hudson Valley Sunday. The 25th round selection out of Dartmouth threw three perfect innings while striking out one. The outing was arguably the righty’s best of the season. Though Sulser didn’t earn the win, he did lower his ERA to a 1.97 on the year, a near-elite level mark for the 23 year-old. Harold Guerrero and Manuel Carmona also appeared in relief and combined to throw two perfect innings.  Carmona struck out three in 1 1/3 innings. 

For Hudson Valley, no hitter tallied more than one hit, but Tyler Young led the way with two RBI’s and a double. Johnny Field, Oscar Hernandez, Granden Goetzman, and Julian Ridings all provided one RBI. Derek Loera earned the win for the Renegades, but didn’t pitch particularly well. The lefty surrendered three earned runs on six hits and three walks over 2 1/3 innings.  Cory Jordan earned his first save of the year by throwing 2/3 of an inning, allowing just one walk. 

With the loss, the Scrappers fall to 22-29 while the Renegades climb to 26-27, just 1.5 games out of first place. Mahoning Valley will now have two days off for the All-Star Game festivities before returning for a quick two-game set with State College starting on Wednesday.

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