Scrappers inch out road win in Connecticut, 4-3
Norwich, CT – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers continued their winning ways on Friday, inching out a 4-3 victory in 13 innings over the Connecticut Tigers. With the win, the Scrappers have now won 12 of their last 15 games. During the hot streak, Mahoning Valley has allowed three or less runs 11 times, a number that speaks very highly of their starting pitchers’ success.
Starting pitcher Caleb Hamrick, who is 1-5 on the year and winless in his last six starts, surrendered six hits, all singles, through five innings. The righty walked two and struck out five while allowing two runs, one earned. Though he allowed runners in every inning but one, Hamrick worked out of jams well and kept his team in the game.
The Mahoning Valley defense again struggled, committing three errors and allowing two unearned runs to cross the plate. The Scrappers’ bullpen was superb once again. Combined, the squad threw eight scoreless innings.
Michael Goodnight, sporting a 1.93 ERA on the season, threw two innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run. Alexis Paredes allowed a triple to nine-hitter Tyler Gibson in the bottom of the ninth, but escaped damage by catching Gibson attempting to steal home and subsequently striking-out Curt Powell. The 21-year-old finished the night throwing three innings allowing two hits and one walk. Trevor Frank then threw two perfect innings, striking out three.
The Scrappers offense, which has done an adequate job scoring runs throughout the winning streak, did their job, pounding out 14 hits. Every hitter, aside from Nellie Rodriguez, recorded at least one hit. Leadoff hitter Joel Mejia led the way with four singles. Robel Garcia had two hits and an RBI. The third-baseman also added his sixth stolen base of the year. Centerfielder Cody Ferrell and second-baseman Claudio Bautista each added an RBI. Josh McAdams stretched his hit streak to 11 games, going 1-5.
The Scrappers had their chances to end this game in regulation, however. The team stranded the go-ahead run in scoring position in each inning from the eighth through the twelfth. Mahoning Valley finished the night 4 -17 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10 runners’ total. But in the top of the thirteenth, Juan Romero scored Rodriguez on a line-drive single to centerfield to take the lead once and for all.
For Connecticut, Tyler Gibson, Brett Harrison, and Austin Schotts each record two hits. Curt Powell added two RBI’s while Ben Verlander and Chris Taladay each scored a run. The team also struggles in pressure situations, however, going 2-10 with runners in scoring position and stranding eight runners. Jonathan Maciel (1-1, 3.38 ERA) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing one run in 1 1/3 innings.
With the victory, The Scrappers now sit at 19-25 on the year, nine games out of first place. The loss drops the Tigers to 19-26. The teams will meet again Saturday in game two of a three-game set. Robert Whitenack will take the hill for Mahoning Valley, while Alex Phillips will take the bump for Connecticut.
Whitenack is coming off a performance in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The righty enters the game sporting a 3.99 ERA on the year. Phillips comes in with a 2.68 ERA in nine appearances for the Tigers. First pitch is set 7:05 pm at Dodd Stadium.