The Mahoning Valley Scrappers opened the doors to Eastwood Field Wednesday night. The fans, all 5,122 of them, were treated to extra innings against the Jamestown Jammers. The Scrappers pulled out a dramatic 11th inning 2-1 victory to raise their record to 2-1 on the young season.
The Scrappers loaded the bases with nobody out in the 11th. Evan Frazar hit into a fielders choice for a force at home. That brought Juan Romero to the plate, bases jammed, one out. Romero walked on four pitches to force Joseph Wendle across the plate with the winning rub.
Tyler Naquin, the Cleveland Indians First Round Draft Pick (pictured above), showed why he was taken early a couple of weeks ago with a 3-4 plate performance. Naquin collected his first professional hit in the first inning, stole second, and doubled in his next at-bat. Proving he was not a one-dimensional player, the Scrappers young center fielder showed off his arm with a couple of very strong throws to third base after catches.
There are kinks to work out, but this will be a fun team to see. The Scrappers got on the scoreboard first when Charlie Valerio doubled. The next batter, Joseph Wendle, singled home Valerio to put the Scrappers ahead, 1-0.
“I have never played in front of this many people before”, said Wendle. ”It is going to be a fun Summer here and I like my host family, so far it has been a great experience.”
Scrappers starter Luis DeJesus had a good outing for Mahoning Valley. DeJesus threw five scoreless innings, had a pair of strikeouts and yielded a walk in his debut before exiting with a knee problem. Michael Peoples took over on the mound to start the sixth.
Jamestown rallied in the seventh when Juancito Martinez singled in Jose Behar to tie the game at a run each.
Louis Head came out of the Scrappers bullpen to start the eighth inning of the 1-1 game. Head threw three scoreless innings in his relief stint, but the Scrappers could not get a run in the bottom of the ninth and play continued into extra innings.
“I thought Head and Peoples gave us tremendous innings out of the bullpen tonight”, said manager Ted Kubiak (above). ”Our guys in the middle made solid plays on hard chances and it was nice to hear these people here cheering for us tonight.”
One of last years returning players, Enosil Tejeda, started the 11th for the Scrappers and picked up the win.
These two teams meet again on Thursday before the Scrappers get on the bus and head east until Monday. The first pitch on “Buck Night” is scheduled for 7:05.