Two-run ninth propels Batavia to sweep of Scrappers
Mahoning Valley struggled from the plate and in the field with 5 hits and 3 errors
NILES, OH - It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon to watch the Mahoning Valley Scrappers play the Batavia Muckdogs. The crowd was cheering and hollering all throughout the game as the watched the Scrappers. Yet the cheering could not get the Scrappers the win they needed.
The Scrappers had a close game up until the ninth inning where the Muckdogs got two more runs making the final score 5-3.
Starting off defensively strong the Scrappers went into the bottom of the first inning with Austin Fisher having a nice single out to left field getting him to first base. Bradley Zimmer kept his head while batting and ended up walking down the first base line with no problem.
At the top of the second left fielder D'Vone McClure had a phenomenal fly ball catch giving the Scrappers their first out. In a great effort, third baseman Yonathan Mendoza attempted to backhand a ground ball but it took a bad hop and he did not field it cleanly. To make up for his fumble another ball was hit to Mendoza where he fielded cleanly, and threw to second covered by Ordomar Valdez who threw to first getting a double play.
A fielding error at the top of the third cost the Scrappers. Hiram Martinez for the Muckdogs hit a ground ball to second baseman Ordomar Valdez who did not cleanly field the ball. In a rush to throw to first he overthrew and gave the runner two bases instead of one. He came back redeeming himself when another ball was hit to him and instead of rushing the throw he took his time and got the third out for the Scrappers.
Greg Allen had a nice single shot out to left field at the bottom of the third getting him to first base and he did not stop there. Right under the catchers nose for the Muckdogs he stole second with no problem. And he didn't stop there! He stole third and the catcher attempted to throw him out but overthrew; Allen with some serious speed got to his feet and ran home before the third baseman could get his hand on the ball. The Scrappers are now up by one.
After a pitch that hit him on the head Bradley Zimmer walked his way down the first base line in the bottom of the fourth and he did not stop just at first. He showed off his speed by stealing second.
Pitcher Sean Brady for the Scrappers had a ball fired back at him on the mound but that did not stop him from making the third out. He gathered the ball and threw to first baseman Leo Castillo and got the third out at the top of the fifth. Ordomar Valdez, at the bottom of the fifth, had a single that was hit past the short stop getting him to first.
At the top of the sixth the Muckdogs were right back in it with a man on three and fly ball out to center, the runner on three tagged up bringing in a run making the score 1-1. Greg Allen who walked to first stole second with ease. Austin Fisher moved his teammate Allen to third with single to second baseman but got out. With a wild pitch Greg Allen got to run home and bring in a run putting the Scrappers in the lead by one.
Stepping in to relieve Brady was Justin Garcia at the top of the seventh. The Muckdogs just kept coming back with runs. With runners on second and third a hit out to right field brought those two runs in putting the Muckdogs ahead by one.
At the top of the eighth Ordomar Valdez had a double he hit out way to left field. Greg Allen cleared his single past the infield to right field and Valdez showed some serious speed by round third into home bringing in a run for the Scrappers.
At the top of the ninth Luke Eubank came in to relieve Justin Garcia up on the mound for the Scrappers. With runners on base the batter for the Muckdogs brought in two runs putting them ahead by two. Right fielder Greg Allen showed some serious coverage as he ran for a fly ball hit out in his area. Sadly the Scrappers could not make a comeback and the final score was 5-3.
"I believe the seventh, eighth and ninth inning is where the game is pretty much played. It's not that the beginning of the game and those innings before that aren't important, they are. They are very important. It's just the seventh, eighth and ninth inning is when the intensity increases. Hitters get better, pitchers get better and focus gets better it just happens," said manager Ted Kubiak.
The Scrappers are set to play again on July 6 at the Eastwood field in Niles, Ohio.