Scrappers win streak halted in 3-1 loss
NILES - The streaking Scrappers returned to Eastwood Field Wednesday looking to give the fans an early fireworks display against the Aberdeen Ironbirds before the real show that was to take place post-game at Eastwood Field.
Mother Nature forced the fans to wait awhile for their fireworks, bringing a downpour in the top of ninth that caused an hour and a half rain delay. The Scrappers never really returned from the rain delay, however, as the Ironbirds were able to push across a pair of runs when the game resumed to win 3-1, and end the Scrappers winning streak at six.
The Scrappers sent Jake Sisco to the mound to oppose the Ironbirds. Sisco looked to build upon a successful outing in his previous game, where he pitched six and a third innings of two-run ball on two hits and four strikeouts.
Sisco didn’t have his best stuff, but he kept his team in the game, allowing one run in his five innings of work. He scattered around six hits and did not record a strikeout, but did enough to at least give his team a tie-game heading into the sixth. His lone run came in the second, when Ironbird Lucas Herbst singled home Joel Hutter for the first score of the game.
The Scrappers tied the game up in the bottom of the third when Erik Gonzalez singled off of starter Juan Guzman and reached third on a throwing error from catcher Pedro Perez. Jairo Kelly followed with an RBI double to knot the game at one.
Guzman made it through six innings, and it then became a battle of the bullpens. Cody Penny relieved Sisco for the Scrappers, and Kenneth Wise entered for Aberdeen. Both did their job, as each pitched two innings of relief while only allowing one hit. The Scrappers were able to put runners on first and second in the eighth when Charlie Valerio walked following a two out Joe Wendle double, but Juan Romero was retired on a questionable called strike three.
Then, the rains did finally come, and they came in droves. Jack Wagoner, who had come on to pitch the eighth, threw two balls in the ninth when heavy wind and flashes of lighting forced the grounds crew to pull out the tarp. When the rain did finally come, it came in monsoon form. The waiting then commenced, forcing the teams to sit through an hour and thirty-six minute delay.
Despite the large amount of standing water on the field, the grounds crew was able to adequately prepare the field for play following the rain. The Scrappers probably wish the rain wouldn’t have let up, however.
Scrapper reliever Rafael Homblert entered after the delay, and promptly walked batter Torsten Boss. A bunt single from Joel Hutter followed by a fielding error by Homblert put three Ironbirds on base with no outs. A single from Anthony Vegas brought in a run and broke the tie. The Ironbirds pushed across another run on Homblert, and carried a 3-1 lead to the bottom of the inning.
Aberdeen reliever Jose Nivar retired the side in the ninth on strikeouts to earn the save and end the game. It also stalled the Scrappers winning streak at six. Jose Nivar picked up the win for Aberdeen, while Wagoner was saddled with the loss for the Scrappers despite not allowing a run because he threw a pair of pitches before the rain delay.
The Scrappers and Ironbirds will do battle again on Thursday at Eastwood Field, this time looking to dodge the weather and get in a clean nine innings of baseball.