Scrappers rally in ninth

ABERDEEN, MD. — The Mahoning Valley Scrappers scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat the Aberdeen Ironbirds, 8-7.

Relief pitcher Jonathan Teaney struck out Tristan Graham with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, preserving the MV victory.

With the win, the Scrappers (28-19) remain one game behind the West Virginia Black Bears in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division. West Virginia (30-19) beat Brooklyn, 7-3, on Tuesday night to maintain the one-game advantage.

Trailing 7-5 in the ninth, Ernie Clement and Nolan Jones each had base hits to start the inning for the Scrappers. An Oscar Gonzalez double pulled the Scrappers to within one run, and a Ulysses Cantu sacrifice fly tied the game at 7. Will Benson then drove-in the go-ahead run on a line-drive single, scoring Gonzalez.

Despite taking the lead, however, the Scrappers weren’t out of the woods just yet. A lead-off walk and a hit-by-pitch quickly put runners on first and second base, before a sac bunt moved the runners over.

An intentional walk loaded the bases, which was followed by a force out at home. Then with two outs, Teaney struck out Graham to end the game. Randy Valladares (2-1, 3.54 ERA) earned the win, while Ironbird reliever William Reed Hayes (2-1, 3.29) picked up a loss and a blown save with the three-run ninth.

MV and Aberdeen (27-21) resume their three-game series at 7 tonight. The Scrappers return home Friday to face Staten Island.