By Ty Bartell
NILES OH- After each squad taking a game a piece in the first two contests of the opening series, The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and The West Virginia Black Bears once again met on the diamond of Eastwood Field. Tyson Heaten started for West Virginia while Tony Rossi toed the rubber for Mahoning Valley.
Tre Hondras led-off the top of the first inning with a single to center field and eventually swiped second later in the inning. Scrappers starter Tony Rossi retired the next two in order before Logan Kohler roped a single to left, scoring Hondras, giving The Black Bears the early lead 1-0.
After a quiet bottom of the first for Mahoning Valley, Rossi set the Black Bear batting lineup down in order to start the second. The quick inning of work by Rossi allowed The Scrappers to respond in the bottom of the second when Braeden O’Shaugnessy doubled to start the inning and later came around to score courtesy of an AJ Rausch RBI-single! Heaten responded well by limiting damage to just the single run, getting out of the second with the game tied 1-1.
Following a pair of scoreless innings worked by both teams, The Scrappers pulled ahead in the bottom of the fifth. Ryan Degges took over for West Virginia and issued walks to the first four Scrappers bats of the inning; however, the scoring in the inning came on a passed ball and two wild pitches, giving Mahoning Valley their first lead of the game 4-1! Derek Bolander replaced Rossi in the fifth inning for The Scrappers, after pitching a scoreless fifth, Bolander struck out the side in the sixth to emphatically hold momentum after taking the lead in the previous half inning.
Colton Coates led off the bottom of the seventh with a hit and would eventually touch home off a JR Bedford RBI-single, the next batter Cole Conn would double to drive home an additional run, extending the lead 6-1! Bolander would work a 1-2-3 seventh, finishing his relief outing with three innings of work, striking out six and allowing no hits!
Zane Barnhart took over for Mahoning Valley in the eighth where he would pick up where Bolander left off with another inning of sending The Black Bears down in order. Ny’Zaiah Thompson added a run off a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning, making it 7-1 Scrappers, before Joe Glassey came in and shut things down in the ninth, striking out two, giving The Scrappers pitching staff 13 total on the game!
The win seizes control of the opening series for Mahoning Valley, as The Scrappers (2-1) will conclude their four game set with West Virginia (1-2) on Sunday, June 4th and is slated for a 2:05 p.m. first pitch. Live game and call of all the action can be found on YSN (ysnlive.com).