NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Oscar Gonzalez had waited long enough. After watching as the Scrappers went homer-less in the first four games of the season, Gonzalez made sure change things on Friday night at Eastwood Field.
Gonzalez would homer in back to back at bats, both times putting the Scrappers on top of the Auburn Doubledays. The second homerun pushed the Scrappers on top 5-3, they would hold on for a 5-4 series win over the Doubledays.
After four scoreless innings, the Doubledays would take the early lead. Chance Shepard led off the inning with a solo homerun, his first of the season.
In the bottom of the inning the Scrappers would answer back. With one out Tyler Friis singled, his first professional hit, to start the rally. Samad Taylor would follow with a walk. Gonzalez then blasted a 1-1 fastball over the leftfield wall and into the Niles night for a 3-1 lead.
It took two inning, but Auburn would answer. In the top of the seventh inning, Randy Encarnacion walked to start the inning. With one out, Encarnacion would come around to score on Omar Meregildo’s RBI triple. Meregildo then tied the game on a broken bat single by Joshual Ramirez.
Once again the Scrappers wasted no time at all taking the lead back. Taylor would start the inning with a triple off the top of the leftfield wall. Gonzalez followed and blasted the first pitch he saw over the leftfield wall for a 5-3 lead.
Auburn would get a run back in the top of the eighth inning before Domingo Jimenez slammed the door shut by striking out the side in the ninth.
Zach Plesac made his professional debut after missing all of 2016 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He started and worked 3.0 innings. Plesac allowed one hit while striking out three.
Cameron Mingo would then work 3.0 innings in relief. Mingo allowed one earned run on one hit. He walked one and struck out five. Jonathan Teaney (1-0) followed and in his debut earned the win in 1.0 inning of relief. He allowed two earned run on two hits. Teaney walked one and struck out two.
Riley Echols (1) earned a hold in his professional debut. In 1.0 inning of work he allowed one unearned run on one hit. He also walked one. Jimenez (1) picked up his first save with a perfect inning of work. Jimenez struck out all three he faced.
The Scrappers now welcome the defending NYPL champion State College Spikes to Eastwood Field for a three game series starting Saturday night at 7:05. LHP Francisco Perez will get the start for the Scrappers. Saturday night is also youth jersey giveaway night to the first 500 kids 12 and under.
Courtesy: Mahoning Valley Scrappers