NILES, OH- In the first of a six-game homestand, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers dropped their series opener against the State College Spikes in a route. The loss dropped the Scrappers’ record to (11-7).
The Scrappers started the scoring early by plating three in the bottom of the 1st. Jarrod Belbin drove in the first run of the night with a double down the right-field line. Branden Comia followed later on in the inning with a one RBI bases-loaded single. The third run of the inning scored the next at-bat after a Sam Crail walk.
State College had a strong answer scoring in the top of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. They scored two after a two-run blast to left field by Mark Vierling. State College kept the offensive display scoring four more in the third, doubling the Scrappers’ run total with a 6-3 lead. They scored two more in the 4th stretching their lead to 8-3. In the 5th they struck again, adding one to go up 9-3.
In the bottom of the 5th the Scrappers scratched away at the deficit scoring two. Bobby Sparling hit a line-drive single to center scoring runners from second and third narrowing the lead to 9-5.
It didn’t matter because in the top of the 6th as State College scored four. Three of the four runs came off a home run hit by Kenny Piper who was a triple shy of the cycle. The big inning gave them a 13-5 lead over the Scrappers.
The Scrappers loaded the bases in the bottom of the 6th with no outs. They weren’t able to do much with the opportunity though. They only scored one run after a Dan Harwood walk. The run made the score 13-6.
State College added their last run in the 8th when Belbin made an error on a grounder to third, raising their lead to 14-6
In the bottom of the 8th Bobby Sparling singled home two. The two runs would be the last runs scored in the game making the final 14-8.
Bobby Sparling led the way offensively for the Scrappers. He went 2-5 with four RBI, a single and a double. The offense as a whole left nine on base while tallying 10 hits. They also had a total of 10 strikeouts and nine walks.
Starter Nathan Lavender struggled throwing, only recording 2.2 innings. He gave up six runs on four hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. Lavender wasn’t alone, the bullpen had a hard time as well, giving up eight runs, 14 hits, one walk, and 12 strikeouts.
The Scrappers will return tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. to face the Spikes in game two of the series and the homestand. Tomorrow is Military Appreciation Night
*Story courtesy of MVScrappers.com