NILES, OH- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers (1-2) came back from a 6-0 deficit early to earn their first win of the 2013 season over the Jamestown Jammers (2-1) by a score of 7-6. The Scrappers walked off on a walk by Juan Romero to complete the rally on Wednesday night.
Righthander Robert Whitenack, who the Indians claimed off waivers from the Cubs in April, made his first start for the Scrappers this season. He faced righty Dovydas Neverauskas for the Jammers.
Jamestown erupted for six runs in the fourth inning. Two singles, a fielder’s choice and a fielding error loaded the bases with one out. Shortstop Michael Fransoso coaxed a walk to bring in a run. Then, catcher Max Rossiter lined a two-run single to center field to make the lead 3-0. A sacrifice fly by center fielder Jeff Roy brought home Fransoso. Following a wild pitch, second baseman Jodaneli Carjaval and right fielder Elvis Escobar hit back-to-back RBI doubles to complete the scoring. After a walk, Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak made a walk to the mound to hook Whitenack.
Whitenack had a line of three and two third innings, allowing six runs (two earned) on six hits. He walked three and fanned two. Ben Heller entered the game in relief.
Heller hit the first batter he faced but got the last batter of the inning to strike out swinging.
Third baseman Claudio Bautista singled home rightfielder Juan Romero, who doubled with one out, to score the Scrappers’ first run of 2013 in the fifth. The Scrappers were held scoreless through 22 innings to open the season.
Neverauskas exited the game after five innings of one-run ball on four hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. David Jagoditsh came on for the sixth inning.
Jagoditsh fanned the first batter but he hit four straight batters to bring in another run. Kurt Yacko relieved Jagoditsh and induced an inning-ending double play.
The Scrappers put a three-spot on the board in the seventh inning. Two men walked and two men struck out before second baseman Robel Garcia drove both runs in with a triple to right field. Garcia scored on a fielding error to cut the lead to 6-5.
Mahoning Valley tied the game in the eighth with a bases loaded walk by shortstop Juan Herrera off of Axel Diaz.
Yacko surrendered three runs (two earned) on one hit and two walks in one and two-thirds innings.
Diaz took the loss after he gave up two unearned runs without allowing a hit in one plus innings. He walked a game high five.
Designated hitter Nellie Rodriguez led off the bottom of the ninth with a four-pitch walk. Catcher Ryan Battaglia reached second base when Escobar failed to catch the routine fly ball. The Jammers intentionally walked first baseman Nick Hamilton to load the bases with no outs. Romero walked to end the ballgame.
The Scrappers bullpen of Heller, Harold Guerrero and Manuel Carmona shut out the Jammers over five and one-third innings. They allowed one hit, four walks, and a hit batter. They fanned ten Jammer batters. Carmona picked up the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
The game included three wild pitches, seven hit batters, and fourteen walks.
Rodriguez reached base five times on a single, error, walk and two hit by pitches. Garcia’s two RBI’s currently lead the team.
The Scrappers will hit the road on Thursday to open a three game series with the Batavia Muckdogs. The scheduled pitching matchup puts Scrappers RHP Michael Goodnight against Muckdogs RHP Justin Jackson. First pitch is set for 7:05 PM.