The Scrappers dropped a tight-knit affair in Troy Sunday, losing 5-4 to the Tri-City ValleyCats.
The Scrapper’s Luis Morel was tabbed to make his third start of the season. In his last start, he tossed 4.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits. This time, he was doomed by a terrible first inning. In that first inning, Morel walked four batters, including two with the bases loaded to give Tri-City an early 2-0 lead.
The Scrappers would fire back in the third, putting up three runs to gain their first lead of the night. With two outs, Logan Vick and Hunter Jones both walked to give the Scrappers their first scoring threat of the night. Joey Wendle made the most of the opportunity and then some, smacking his third homerun of the year to make it a 3-2 ballgame. They added another in the fourth, when Jeremy Lucas led off the inning with his first big fly of the year to make it a two run game.
Unfortunately, the Scrappers couldn’t hold the lead, as the ValleyCats added a run in both the fourth and fifth to even the score. The first run came off of Morel, who allowed back-to-back two out singles. He exited after a two-out walk, finishing with three earned runs on four hits and five walks with four strikeouts.
Scott Peoples replaced Morel, and after getting out of his two-on, two-out jam in the fourth, allowed the tying run in the fifth. With runners at the corners and two outs, he allowed a single to Jobduan Morales to make it a 4-4 game.
The Scrapper offense was able to put a man in scoring position in both the fifth and seventh, but couldn’t cash in either time. Tri-City did the same in the sixth and seventh, but unlike the Scrappers were able to finish the job in the seventh to push across the go-ahead run. James Stokes relieved Peoples, and immediately allowed a single to leadoff the frame. The, after a stolen base and sacrifice bunt, Preston Tucker hit a single back up the middle to score the run from third to make it a 5-4 game.
The offense again put a runner on in both the eighth and ninth inning, but could make nothing of it as they ended the night 5-4 losers.
Stokes took the loss for the Scrappers, dropping him to 0-3 on the year with an 8.49 ERA. Tri-City reliever Travis Ballew earned the win, as he improved to 4-0. Closer Blake Ford earned his league-leading 12th save of the year.
With the loss, the Scrappers fall back to .500 at 23-23. They will look to climb back above the break-even mark tomorrow as they finish up the series with Tri-City in an early 11 a.m. matinee.