Published: Monday, July 23, 2007
Scrappers fire blanks at Tigers
Mahoning Valley hits the road today for a six-game trip.
By STEVE RUMAN
NILES On a night which attracted the third-largest baseball crowd in Eastwood Field history, the only fireworks enjoyed by the home fans were those of the postgame pyrotechnic variety.
As for Sunday's New York-Penn League contest between Mahoning Valley and visiting Oneonta, the Scrappers' offense with the exception of first baseman Todd Martin shot nothing but duds.
Backed by a stellar performance from starting pitcher Sean Finefrock, Oneonta (19-14) defeated Mahoning Valley (15-17) 4-0 in front of 7,008 fans.
Martin gets only hits
Finefrock pitched eight scoreless innings, surrendering just one hit a second-inning leadoff double by Martin.
Adriano Santos relieved Finefrock in the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning, surrendering a one-out single to Martin.
The pair of hits collected by the Scrappers first baseman were the only two hits logged by the team.
Martin is batting a league-leading .389.
"Sometimes, you just have to tip your cap to the opponent," Scrappers manager Tim Laker said. "He [Finefrock] threw a good game.
"He kept the ball inside all game long, and got a lot of our guys to jam the ball," Laker said. "He kept his breaking ball down, and had great command.
"Other than Todd's two hits, we didn't hit anything hard all night long."
While Finefrock's control kept the Mahoning Valley bats in check, the Tigers benefited from a bit of wildness displayed by Scrappers pitchers.
Oneonta scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth when Ron Bourquin opened the inning with a single, then advanced to second when Chris Carlson was hit by a pitch.
Carlson was erased as part of a double play, but Bourquin scored on a Casper Wells two-out double.
One inning later, the Tigers took advantage of Mike Eisenberg's wildness to plate a pair of runs.
Eisenberg hit a batter and issued a walk to start the frame. A Kody Kaiser single loaded the bases, then John Henry knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Bourquin followed with a groundout that also pushed a run across the plate.
Eisenberg (2-3) suffered the loss while Finefrock lifted his record to 2-2.
Daniel Morales relieved Eisenberg to start the sixth. The right-hander promptly walked Michael Sullivan, who advanced to second when Casper Wells was hit by a pitch. Sullivan later scored from third when Kyle Peter reached on a fielders choice.
Scrappers pitchers combined to issue five walks and hit three batters.
"Just yesterday, we talked to the pitchers about the importance of not giving away runs," Laker said. "We preach the importance of making the other team earn everything they get offensively.
"That's especially important when you're struggling to get runs yourself. Three of the four runs scored tonight were the result of guys getting on base without a hit. That's frustrating."
Despite his success at the plate, Martin was impressed with Finefrock's performance.
Praise for opponent
"He was constantly hitting his spots and making it tough for us to get good swings," Martin said. "I was fortunate to get a pair of hits. I felt comfortable at the plate, but there was nothing easy about the hits I collected."
Sunday's large gathering marked just the third time the Scrappers have played a home game in front of more than 7,000 fans.
On Sept. 2, 1999 a crowd of 7,726 attended the season finale between the Scrappers and Batavia. On June 18, 2004, a crowd of 7,274 was on hand for the season-opener between the Scrappers and Auburn.
Following an off-day, the Scrappers return to action Tuesday night when they begin a three-game series at Hudson Valley. They then will play three games at Williamsport before returning to Niles on July 30 to begin a six-game homestand.
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Kaiser ss 4 0 1 0 White cf 4 0 0 0
Henry 2b 3 0 2 1 Hehr 2b 4 0 0 0
Bourquin 3b 4 1 2 1 Infante 3b 4 0 0 0
Carlson 1b 4 0 0 0 Martin 1b 4 0 2 0
Sullivan lf 3 1 0 0 Castillo c 4 0 0 0
Wells rf 3 0 1 1 Brown rf 2 0 0 0
Middleton dh 4 0 2 0 Jenkins lf 2 0 0 0
Flores c 3 1 0 0 Valadez dh 2 0 0 0
Peter cf 3 1 0 1 Thompson ss 2 0 0 0
Totals 31 4 8 3 Totals 28 0 2 0
Oneonta 000 121 000 4
Scrappers 000 000 000 0
DPOneonta 1, Scrappers 2. LOBOneonta 9, Scrappers 5. 2BWells (9), Martin (6). SBKaiser (10). PO by Eisenberg (Henry).
IP H R ER BB SO
Finefrock W, 2-2 8 1 0 0 1 3
Santos 1 1 0 0 0 0
Eisenberg L, 2-3 5 3 3 3 2 3
Morales 1 1 1 1 1 0
Brettl 2 1 0 0 1 1
Pestano 1 0 0 0 1 1
WPFinefrock. HBPby Finefrock (Thompson), by Finefrock (Valadez), by Eisenberg (Carlson), by Eisenberg (Flores), by Morales (Wells). UmpiresHome, Nathan Thompson; Bases, Max Guyll. T2:19. A7,008.
Tigers 4th Ron Bourquin singled to left field. Chris Carlson was hit by a pitch, Bourquin to second. Michael Sullivan hit into a 4-6-3 double-play, Carlson was forced out at second, Bourquin advanced to third. Casper Wells doubled to the left field, Bourquin scored. Cody Middleton grounded out 5-3. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Tigers 5th Angel Flores was hit by a pitch. Kyle Peter walked, Flores to second. Kody Kaiser singled up the middle, Flores advanced to third, Peter advanced to second. Justin Henry flew out to deep right, Flores scored, Peter advanced to third. With Bourquin batting, Kaiser stole second. Bourquin grounded out 4-3, Peter scored, Kaiser advanced to third. Carlson lined out to shortstop. 2 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Tigers 6th Sullivan walked. Wells was hit by a pitch, Sullivan to second. Middleton singled to left, Sullivan to third, Wells to second. Flores struck out looking. Peter reached on fielder's choice, Middleton out 4-6, Sullivan scored, Wells advanced to third. Kaiser flew out to center.1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.