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Scrappers unable to halt losing streak

NILES – In baseball, streaks tend to happen in cycles.

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers torrid start to the season wasn’t just halted, it was smacked directly in the face and sent in a completely opposite direction.

Unfortunately, the wheels continue to spin the wrong way for the Scrappers.

Thanks in large part to a third inning in which Williamsport hit for the cycle, the Scrappers’ losing streak is now at nine games.

The Crosscutters scored four runs in the third inning Friday to break a 1-1 tie en route to an 11-3 win over the Scrappers at Eastwood Field.

The Scrappers (10-10) have also lost five consecutive home games after a 7-0 start at Eastwood Field.

Williamsport sent eight men to the plate in the fourth. Isaac Nunez led things off with a double, then scored on a Tayden Hall one-out triple. Two batters later, Logan Flood hit a line drive to center field that skipped by Brandon Rogers and rolled to the wall, allowing Flood to round the bases. Cole Evans capped the cycle with a single.

In the ninth, Matthey Etzel hit a second Williamsport inside-the-park home run.

Williamsport pounded out 11 hits and Scrappers pitchers issued 11 walks.

The Scrappers collected just five hits and committed three errors.

The nine-game skid for the Scrappers is three losses shy of the franchise record of 12 consecutive losses, set in July of 2013.

The Scrappers conclude their six-game homestand tonight with a 7:05 start against the Crosscutters.

KEEPING THE FAITH

Scrappers infielder Reed Chumley is quick to point out that he is a man of deep faith. His strong belief system carries over to the baseball diamond, even during the toughest of times for the Scrappers.

“This is all a part of the process for us, both as individual human beings and as a team,” Chumley said. “In life, you’re going to go through trials and tribulations. You just have to rise above it all. Baseball is a metaphor of life. You just have to keep pushing through, have faith and have perseverance.”

Chumley noted that at the very start of the season when the Scrappers won 10 of 11 games, “everything clicked, the team gelled, we had a plan and stuck to it.” The roster then experienced a major change, with 13 players being dropped, making way for 16 new additions.

“It’s not that we didn’t add talent, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Chumley said. “I think it was more of a chemistry thing. That’s something you can’t teach, you can’t coach. But we’re definitely coming together. We’re all getting on the same page and I know things will come together.”

Chumley believes that a change of team fortunes will take place, “one player at a time.”

“If each individual player goes out and does his job every day, the team will succeed,” Chumley said. “If just one player isn’t doing his part it’s difficult for the entire team to piece things together. Baseball is a crazy game. It’s a sport that focuses so much on individual stats but this is such a team game.”

“The bottom line is that I have absolutely no doubt we’ll come around as a team. This is a close group that roots and plays for each other.”

Chumley said he is especially eager to string together some wins for the fans of the Mahoning Valley.

“These fans are the greatest, they are behind us win or lose,” Chumley said. “This entire community has been great to us, they deserve a winner.

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