Scrappers lose to Batavia in extras, run losing streak to six
Despite scoring almost as many runs as they had in their last four games combined, the Scrappers dropped their sixth straight game Thursday, losing in 11 to the Batavia Muckdogs in their first meeting of the year.
Early on, it looked like it was going to be a laugher for the Scrappers as they sprinted to a 6-0 lead after an inning and a half. They wasted no time getting after the starter Joe Cuda. With two outs in the first, Joey Wendle singled to jumpstart an early rally. Cleanup man Charlie Valerio followed with a double to plate Wendle, and advanced to third after a throwing error. Joe Sever then connected with an RBI base knock of his own to make it 2-0.
They added four more in what was a huge second inning. Erik Gonzalez was plunked to lead off the inning and advanced to third after a Juan Romero single. Evan Frazar then collected a base hit to score Gonzalez. With two outs, Wendle got hit to load the bases and Valerio singled to plate a pair and grab his second and third RBI of the contest. That was all for Cuda, who the Scrappers ran after just an inning and two-thirds. It didn’t close his book, however, as Joe Sever finished the assault with an RBI double off of Cuda’s replacement, Corey Baker, to score one more and make it 6-0.
The Muckdogs got right to work digging out of the hole in the bottom of the second off of lefty starter Ryan Merrit. It was Merrit’s first action since leaving his last start in the first inning after a wrist injury. After breezing through the first, he allowed his first hit on a leadoff double to start the frame. Then, with runners on first and third with no outs, he allowed an RBI single followed by a sacrifice fly to make it 6-2.
Merrit got into more trouble in the third, giving up three to cut his lead down to one. His first batter of the inning reached first after a rare catcher interference call. Then, after Steven Ramos ripped a double to put runners on second and third, Breyvic Valera singled to plate both men. They scored one more off of a second double to make it 6-5 after three.
Just when it seemed like it was going to be a 12-round offensive prizefight, the pitching for both sides settled in. Merrit would make it through the next two innings unblemished to exit with a 6-5 lead. The Scrapper offense made some noise with scattered hits but couldn’t push anything else across in the middle innings either.
Josh Martin then entered in relief of Merrit and gave up a costly run that tied the game at 6-6.
Both teams had scoring chances in the late innings but neither could cash in. The Scrappers put a runner on second in both the seventh and eighth but couldn’t get a base hit either time. Neither team could make anything happen in the tenth and, after the Scrappers were retied in order in the eleventh, Roberto De La Cruz left little room for suspense. With one out in the inning and Jack Wagoner pitching, De La Cruz connected on his first home run of the year to send Batavia to a 7-6 extra-inning walk off win.
The loss dropped Wagoner to 1-4 on the season while reliever Yunier Castillo picked up the win to improve to 3-2. The Scrappers will do it again in Batavia tomorrow at 7:05 as they look to end their slide at six.