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Scrappers snap skid, top Williamsport

NILES — The Mahoning Valley Scrappers brought an end to their losing streak in wild fashion.

The Scrappers on Saturday scored early and often en route to a 15-8 win over Williamsport at Eastwood Field.

The win snapped a nine-game losing streak dating back to June 15.

As had been the case throughout the losing streak, the Scrappers (11-10) found themselves playing catch-up right out of the gate. Williamsport took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Matthew Etzel led off the game with a double, followed by a Jose Urdaneta home run.

However, the Scrappers responded with an eight-run second inning.

Zach Dezenzo led off the bottom of the second with a 462-foot home run to left-center. Later in the inning, he hit an RBI double. Brian Kalmer also had a pair of hits in the frame, while Bobby Sparling cleared the bases with a three-RBI double.

An inning later Scrappers leadoff hitter Buck Anderson hit a two-run homer. Kalmer led off the fourth with his first blast of the year.

The Scrappers pounded out 18 hits. Seven Scrappers had multi-hits. Sparling went 4-for-5 with three RBI. Dezenzo and Kalmer each pounded out three hits. Anderson went 2-for-6 with three RBI.

Williamsport had 15 hits, while committing three errors.

Following a pair of off days, the Scrappers return to action Tuesday when they will begin a six-day road trip which will take them to Trenton and Williamsport.

FOARD TOUGH

Cooper Foard would one day love to see his own picture on a baseball card.

For now, the Scrappers catcher is content with collecting the cards of his favorite players. Foard is an avid baseball card collector, and his prize possession is a 2011 Mike Trout rookie card.

“I just love watching him play,” Foard said. “My college was two blocks away from Angels Stadium and we went to a lot of games. I became a huge Trout fan because I love the way he plays the game.”

Foard is a San Francisco native who recently graduated with a degree in Advertising from Chapman University (Orange, CA). As a freshman, Foard was part of the Chapman team that won a Division III national championship.

“That was an incredible experience, one I’ll never forget,” Foard said. “My first year in college, I thought ‘Wow, this is easy, we’re going to win a lot of titles,'”

COVID had other plans. Foard’s sophomore and junior years were for the most part wiped out because of the pandemic. This year Chapman played a full schedule and finished 35-14. Foard batted .317 and led the team with 12 home runs.

“Those couple of years were crazy, I was setting up bullpen practice in my backyard, doing anything I could to try and stay in baseball shape,” Foard said. “Baseball is such a game of routine. Not knowing from week to week when or if we would play again was an emotional grind.”

“The one positive about the whole situation is that it put a lot of things in perspective. Every time you step on a baseball field, you never know if it’s going to be your last game so you have to cherish the moment. Not playing made me love the game that much more.”

Foard — who also has a passion for drone photography — still has two more years of remaining athletic eligibility because of the time lost to COVID. He may return to college as a graduate student depending on the outcome of this summer’s draft.

“Right now I’m just loving my time here,” Foard said. “My dad flew out from San Francisco to catch some games. I love playing at this park. This is a great experience.”

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