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Archer helps Scrappers stay unbeaten at home with 6-4 win over WV

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Scrappers second baseman Matt Archer is greeted by teammates in the dugout after scoring a run in the first inning during Saturday’s game against the West Virginia Black Bears.

NILES – If you look closely at Scrappers infielder Matt Archer while he’s on the playing field, chances are you’ll see a smile on his face.

After all, the baseball diamond is Archer’s happy place.

“I just love being outdoors and I love playing baseball,” Archer said. “Right now I’m a pretty happy guy, I’m enjoying life.”

Right now, smiling faces can be found throughout the Scrappers’ clubhouse. On Saturday at Eastwood Field the Scrappers lifted their record to 8-1 with a 6-4 win over West Virginia.

The Scrappers are now 6-0 at home – all wins against the Black Bears. Scrappers fans this year have yet to witness a bottom of the ninth.

Archer was part of a three-run first inning Saturday that quickly put the Scrappers up for good. Sean Tillmon and Archer opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Tillmon scored on an Anthony Hansen double, Archer scored on an error and Hansen crossed the plate thanks to a Sam Beers base hit.

An inning later Archer plated the Scrappers’ fourth run with an RBI sacrifice fly.

Trailing by five, the Black Bears cut their lead to 6-4 in the seventh inning courtesy of a three-run home run off the bat of Blaze Brothers. An inning later WV loaded the bases with one out, but Scrappers reliever Devin Crawford was able to work out of the jam.

Tillmon collected four hits, lifting his batting average to .385. Reed Chumley added three of the Scrappers’ 12 hits, including a triple.

The Scrappers and Black Bears conclude their three-game series today at 2:05.

WELCOME MATT

Archer has more time to spend in the outdoors that he loves, thanks to a recent move from New York to Florida. He grew up in Long Island but moved to Fort Lauderdale prior to the start of his junior year of high school. There, he helped lead St. Thomas Aquinas to a state title. As a senior in 2019 he was the team MVP and a First Team All-American. He batted .462 with 20 RBI and 38 runs scored.

“The move was part baseball and part family-related,” Archer said. “For me personally, it worked out great. I mean, all of a sudden I’m able to work out and play baseball outside twelve months of the year. That’s something I couldn’t do in New York.”

“The move really helped my game and I love the weather.”

Archer recently completed his junior season at Lynn University in Boca Raton, where he batted .330.

Last Sunday, Archer hit the Scrappers’ first home run of the season – a two-run shot in a 10-4 win over West Virginia.

“By far, this is the best summer league in the country and what really stands out to me is the fans,” Archer said. “Our home fans really love the game, they really get into it. That’s something you don’t always see at this level.”

“I think part of our early success has something to do with the energy we feel from the fans at (Eastwood Field).”

As of now, the self-proclaimed admirer of the outdoors has not had a chance to experience summer in the Mahoning Valley beyond the baseball field.

“So far it’s been all baseball, and that’s okay by me,” Archer said. “I do hope to get out and about and see some sights but right now I’m concentrating on my game.”

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