Scrappers lose 5-4 in extras
STATE COLLEGE - The Scrappers lost the first game of their season-ending two-game series against the State College Spikes, coming out on the wrong end of an extra-inning 5-4 walk off.
Before losing in the bonus frames, the Scrappers did take a 4-1 lead in the middle innings. After a scoreless first three innings, the offense broke the stalemate in the top of the fourth, snagging a pair to grab their first lead of the contest. Jorge Martinez and Richard Stock were responsible for the runs, with Martinez scoring Dorssys Paulino from third on a sacrifice fly, and Stock driving in a run with a two-out RBI single.
The Scrappers were able to replicate that success in their next chance at the plate, getting two more in the fifth. Robel Garcia started the inning with a leadoff double, and was promptly singled home by Erik Gonzalez. He would later score on a fielder’s choice to make it 4-1. Gonzalez has been sneakily hot to end the season, batting .350 over his last ten games. Part of that success may be attributed to his shift to the leadoff spot, where he has found a great deal of success.
On the opposite side of the diamond, it was Ryan Merritt who started for the Scrappers and found himself the beneficiary of the three run lead. He did give up a run in both the fourth and fifth, but would come out for the sixth holding a 4-2 advantage. A defensive miscue allowed an unearned run to cross, however, and his relief in the inning, James Stokes,allowed one more run to knot the contest at four. For relinquishing the lead, Stokes would be charged with a rare blown save in the sixth inning.
Neither team was able to push across any more runs in the final three regulation innings, and the game moved into extras. After an inconsequential tenth and top of the eleventh, Derek Trent delivered just what his team needed, ripping a leadoff double off of new pitcher Luis Encarnacion. Then with one-out, Starling Marte, who joined the Spikes on rehab duty from the Pirates, was replaced in favor of pinch-hitter Samuel Gonzalez. Marte probably wouldn’t have been allowed the bat anyway, but the minor-leaguer showed the big-leaguer how to win a ballgame, singling up the middle to plate Trent and deliver a 5-4 victory.
Encarnacion was charged with the loss in the contest, while reliever Kyle Haynes got the win. The Scrappers and Spikes will now convene one final time tomorrow night, where they will put the finishing touches on their respective 2012 campaigns. The Scrappers will look to finish out the season on a bright note and abolish their current five game losing on the final day of the season.