Magical year continues as Scrappers rally

BATAVIA, N.Y. — With two runs in the top of the ninth inning, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers defeated the Batavia Muckdogs, 5-4, in New York-Penn League play.

For what seems like the first time all year, Scrappers (20-12) starting pitcher Luis Oviedo seemed vulnerable.

After Christopher Torres walked, Jerar Encarnacion hit a two-run home run in the first inning, and the Muckdogs (15-18) led 2-0. Despite that, Oviedo still pitched five innings with seven strikeouts, one walk and didn’t allow another run in a no-decision.

In the top of the second inning, Hosea Nelson continued his hot July with a solo home run to cut the deficit in half. He went 2 for 4 on the night.

The Scrappers struck again the third inning. After Henry Pujols was hit by a pitch, Ronny Dominguez and Jose Fermin singled to load the bases.

Two sacrifice flies by Tyler Freeman and Mitch Reeves gave Mahoning Valley a 3-2 lead.

Freeman is now the Scrappers best hitter with Richie Palacios being called up Single-A Lake County. Palacios was hitting .411 with a 17-game hit streak in 20 games with the Scrappers.

After that, it wasn’t until the seventh inning that the Muckdogs took the lead back.

Michael Donadio hit one-out single and then scored on a Torres triple to knot the game at 3. Torres was taken out for pinch runner Demetrius Sims. Sims scored on a sacrifice fly to lead 4-3.

The Scrappers did what they’ve done all year, which is comeback to win.

With two outs and no one on in the ninth, Dominguez singled and then Fermin reached base on catcher’s interference. With Freeman batting, the two executed a double steal. Freeman did his part with a two-out, two-run double to give the Scrappers the lead.

Manuel Alvarez pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts to end the game and get the win.

Auburn defeated State College, keeping them two and a half games behind the Scrappers for first place in the Pinckney Division

The Scrappers look to clinch the series at 7:05 p.m. tonight.