Aberdeen, MD- With Luis Lugo and Sebastian Vader making the start for Mahoning Valley and Aberdeen on Wednesday night, the game was destined to be a pitcher’s duel. Both pitchers rank in the top 5 in the NYPL in opponent batting average against. The expected became reality but unfortunately for the Scrappers, and unearned run in the 7th inning proved enough as they fell 2-0 to the Ironbirds in a game highlighted by the rarest feat in baseball, the triple play.
Lugo came into the start having pitched two straight scoreless appearances and he did not disappoint. He went 5 innings allowing just 3 hits. He did not allow a run and struck out 2 while not walking a batter. Lugo was replaced by Briely Puerta (1-2) in the 6th inning. Puerta worked a quick 1-2-3 6th inning but ran into trouble in the 7th. With 2 outs, Manny Hernandez walked to load the bases. Puerta got Jared Breen to hit a ground ball that looked like it would end the inning. However, Paul Hendrix had the ball kick off his glove for an error, allowing Trey Mancinini to score an unearned run. The Ironbirds added an insurance run off of Harold Guerrero in the 8th. Guerrero walked Tanner Rust to start the inning. Back to back singles would bring Rust around to add the 2nd and final run for Aberdeen.
The Scrappers looked like they weren’t going to let the game become a pitcher’s duel in the 1st inning. Joel Mejia led off the game with a bunt single. That was followed by a single from Claudio Bautista. With a 3-2 count on Henrix, the runners took off on the pitch. Hendrix lined the payoff pitch back at Vader. In self-defense he caught the ball falling down backwards off the mound. He quickly recovered and fired to second base for out number 2. A relay back to first base accounted for the 3rd out as the Ironbirds turned the first triple play in franchise history and the first in the NYPL since 2010. The Scrappers offense was highlighted by Nellie Rodriguez. Rodriguez finished the night 2-4 with 2 doubles. Josh McAdams added a single in the 5th inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak in the league
The Scrappers will go for their 5th straight series win on Thursday night. Caleb Hamrick will get the start. Game time is 7:05 from Aberdeen. Catch all the action on 1440AM and online at www.mvscrappers.com with Tim Pozsgai.
Courtesy: Scrappers Media Relations