Scrappers split doubleheader with Doubledays
Sulser flirsts with no-hitter in Scrappers' first contest
AUBURN, NY- The Scrappers split a doubleheader with the Auburn Doubledays on Tuesday night, winning game one by a final score of 2-0 and losing game two by a final score of 3-1.
To say that Cole Sulser and the Scrappers as a whole have been pitching well would be a massive understatement.
Three Scrappers pitchers combined for a no-hitter in their last outing on Sunday afternoon and it was Sulser who was determined to keep that streak going.
Coming into Tuesday's start, Sulser had a streak of his own to continue as well.
After allowing a run and two hits in the first inning of his last start, Sulser went five perfect innings to finish that start, retiring 15 in a row.
What he did in his next start, however, was even more special.
Sulser pitched six innings of perfect baseball on Tuesday, giving him some incredible numbers in his past two starts: 33 straight batters retired, 11 perfect innings, no hits allowed, no runs allowed and 20 strikeouts.
He supplied the Scrappers with some great numbers as well.
45 batters retired without a hit, no runs allowed in 15 innings, and no hits allowed in 15 innings.
Of course, Sulser would allow his first hit- an infield single- in the top of the 7th inning and immediately was removed from the game, thus ending Sulser's individual streak and the Scrappers collective streak.
During Sulser's start, the Scrappers managed just two runs off of Auburn reliever Cory Bafidis, but that would certainly be more than enough.
Claudio Bautista and Josh McAdams poked RBI singles in back to back innings to give the Scrappers the 2-0 lead and Bafidis his first loss of the 2013 season.
Up 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh- the final inning, thanks to New York Penn League rules when playing a doubleheader- Kerry Doane was called upon to replace Sulser after the infield single and got the job done quickly.
In a quick 1-2-3 inning, Doane-on his 23rd birthday- earned his second save of the year and secured the 2-0 victory for the Scrappers.
After a short 30-minute delay, it was back to the field for game two of the twin-set.
Unfortunately for the Scrappers, that thirty minutes minutes meant an end to their pitching dominance.
Kenny Matthews, who was been dominant this season, got the start for the Scrappers in game two, but was knocked around almost right away.
After allowing just a hit in the first, Matthews allowed three hits and three runs in the second and put the Scrappers in a 3-0 hole.
That would be it for Matthews however, as he finished his Scrappers season with four innings pitched, four hits, three runs, two walks and two strikeouts.
Unfortunately, he also picked up his third loss of the season, thanks to a lack of run support.
With the way the Scrappers have hit as of late, that 3-run deficit seemed an impossible task to overcome.
And it was.
In the eight games coming in, including game one of the doubleheader, the Scrappers scored just 16 runs in their last eight games. Six of those runs came in the no-hitter on Sunday.
Doubledays starter Lucas Giolito was certainly far from perfect, but the Scrappers offense missed opportunities to get back in the game.
Claudio Bautista started the fourth inning with his fourth home run of the season- a solo shot- and the Scrappers loaded the bases, threatening to cut their 3-1 deficit.
Instead, they squandered away the big opportunity and Bautista's shot ended up as the only run of the Scrappers would produce.
Overall, Giolito finished with four innings pitched, three hits, one run, one earned run, three walks, and five strikeouts.
While Giolito was good, the Auburn bullpen was better.
Mike Mudron and LJ Hollins combined for three innings of four-hit, no walk relief and struck out four batters in the process.
It was Mudron who got the win, his first of the year, and Hollins who picked up his sixth save of the year.
After tonight's doubleheader split, tomorrow marks the final game of the 2013 Mahoning Valley Scrappers season.
The Scrappers will finish the year at Faclon Park in Auburn, New York before heading home to start the offseason.
First pitch is set for 7:05.