Scrappers give up late lead in 4-3 loss

Mahoning Valley has lost six straight games since June 16

NILES — For a brief moment Tuesday, it appeared as though the Mahoning Valley Scrappers were going to be gifted an end to their losing streak.

Instead, the Scrappers gave one away.

In a seven inning game at Eastwood Field, Trenton scored two runs in the top of the seventh to defeat the Scrappers 4-3. Jonny Weaver reached on a fielding error to lead off the inning. Two batters later, John Cristino blasted a home run over the center field wall to put the Thunder up for good.

The Scrappers managed to put the potential game-tying run on base in the bottom of the seventh, but were unable to send the game into sudden death.

Trenton’s rally came one inning after the Scrappers took a 3-2 lead thanks to a bases loaded throwing error by Thunder shortstop Nathaniel Ochoa. The miscue plated a pair of runs.

The Scrappers’ first run of the night was scored on a wild pitch.

The Scrappers have scored seven runs in two games against Trenton. Four of those runs have come by way of wild pitches. Two other courtesy of Ochoa’s error.

Bobby Sparling and Reed Chumley had two hits apiece for the Scrappers.

After starting the season with a 10-1 record, the Scrappers (10-7) have now lost six straight. Despite the setback, they remain in a first-place tie with Williamsport in the MLB Draft League standings.

The Scrappers and Thunder conclude their three-game series tonight at 7:05.


Alliance native Zach Dezenzo, a 2018 graduate of Marlington High School, is a recent addition to the Scrappers roster.

Dezenzo recently completed his senior season at Ohio State, where he served as team captain.

“It’s pretty neat to be playing in this league while being this close to home,” Dezenzo said. “Home is just forty-five minutes away, my mom and dad are making the trip this week, it’s great for them and a great fit for me.”

This past spring, Dezenzo earned second-team All-Big Ten honors while having a breakout season. The shortstop batted a career-high .319 and tied the Buckeyes’ single-season home run record at 19. He also led the Buckeyes in doubles (18), triples (two) runs scored (54) and RBI (54).

“I had a great career at Ohio State, I’m so thankful for the growth and the opportunity it provided me to get progressively better each year,” Dezenzo said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the way my career played out at OSU and I’m very excited about my future.”

Dezenzo is a second-year MLB Draft League player. Last summer he had a short stint with Frederick where he hit six home runs and collected 18 RBI with a .339 batting average in 14 games.

“I couldn’t wait to get back into this league, it pretty much is an introduction to minor league baseball in so many ways,” Dezenzo said. “The league does wonders in terms of showcasing players and giving them a chance to get noticed ahead of the draft. And this is a pitcher-friendly league so if you can produce here at the plate it will open some eyes.”

Dezenzo is projected to have his name called in the upcoming July MLB Draft.

“I feel like I proved myself at Ohio State this year but having an extra month or so to get noticed is a huge benefit, ” Dezenzo said.

During his senior season at Marlington, Dezenzo batted .522 while being named to the All-Ohio team.


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