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Scrappers tie in Floyd’s home debut

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Scrappers pitcher Collin Floyd delivers a ball to the plate during Saturday’s contest against the West Virginia Black Bears

NILES — Collin Floyd looked right at home Saturday night in his first home start with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

Then again, Eastwood Field has been Floyd’s baseball home since 2016.

Floyd, a Youngstown State University standout who recently completed his career with the Penguins, worked four innings and didn’t earn a decision in what eventually turned into the first tie game in Scrappers history.

The Scrappers and West Virginia Black Bears played to a 7-7 deadlock. MLB Draft League rules do not allow for extra-inning games.

Floyd’s lone mistake Saturday night was a two-run home run off the bat of Black Bears designated hitter Tucker Mitchell. Other than that, the former Penguin scattered five hits, including four singles, and recorded three strikeouts.

“Collin was really the only pitcher on our staff who came to us game-ready,” said Scrappers pitching coach Ron Mahay. “We put him out there on the mound right when he came here and he didn’t miss a beat.”

“He was definitely in a groove, he showed good stuff right from the start.”

Floyd pitched his last game with YSU on May 27.

He made his first appearance with the Scrappers on June 2. Prior to Saturday, all three of Floyd’s starts with the Scrappers came on the road.

This past spring with the Penguins, Floyd went 9-4 and worked 101 and 1/3 innings, recording 108 strikeouts with a 2.58 earned run average.

He was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Year.

“Collin is a very mature pitcher, it’s easy to see that he has been around awhile,” Mahay said. “He has control of himself and his pitches. He has a strong arm..

“He’s also very baseball-smart. He understands the art of pitching.”

The Scrappers scored the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the second inning when Jalen Jones singled in Branden Belbin and Duncan Hewitt.

The Black Bears tied the game in the top of the third on Mitchell’s homer. The Scrappers then took a 5-2 lead with a three-run fourth. A two-run double by Bobby Sparling was the big blow in the inning. Branden Comia also plated a run with a sacrifice fly.

Again, the Black Bears tied the game with a three-run inning of their own. The Black Bears quickly roughed up Scrappers reliever Liam Eddy with a double and a triple. An error also helped their cause.

The two teams continued their back-and-forth trend into the eighth inning. Both teams threatened in the ninth but were unable to break the tie.

Sparling (3-for-5, two doubles, two RBI) and Sam Crail (3-for-5, a double, run scored, stolen base) sparked the Scrappers’ offense.

The Scrappers and Black Bears conclude their three-game series today at 4:05.

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