Scrappers lose at Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Mahoning Valley is in a must-win situation Monday.

Vermont’s penchant for the long ball has a lot to do with the Scrappers coming home to Eastwood Field Monday fighting for their playoff existence.

The host Lake Monsters hit three home runs en route to defeating Mahoning Valley 8-3 in Game 1 of 3 of a New York-Penn League semifinal.

Mahoning Valley, the Pinckney Division Champions, built a 3-1 lead after three innings.

The Scrappers scored two runs when the bases were loaded, scoring one off a Ernie Clement single. The other in the top of the second inning was off a throwing error from Vermont starter Parker Dunshee.

However, Mahoning Valley, with one out, left the bases loaded. The Scrappers left 10 runners on base during this game.

Simeon Lucas hit a solo home run in the top of the third — a precursor leading to the bottom of the seventh inning. The Scrappers home run was the first in the postseason since Chun Chen hit a walk off home run in game two of the NY-PL Championship Series in 2009.

Vermont loaded the bases on a fielding error and two walks, leading Mahoning Valley to change pitchers from Felix Tati to Jean Carlos Mejia.

The next batter, Logan Farrar hit a grand slam to give the Lake Monsters the lead for good. Greg Deichmann Jr. came up next to add a solo home run.

Javier Godard added a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.

Mahoning Valley struck out the top of the eighth swinging and had a single by Nolan Jones in the top of the ninth.

Tati was credited with the blown save, while Mejia took the loss.

Vermont’s Heath Donica, who pitched the eighth, earned the win.

Monday’s Game 2 is at 7:05 p.m., at Eastwood Field. Gregori Vasquez gets the start for the Scrappers.