Archive for July, 2013

Scrappers Tie Franchise Consecutive Loss Record With Tenth Setback


Figure this one out… The Mahoning Valley Scrappers tied the mark of futility with their tenth straight loss Friday, a 2-1 setback to Tri-City.  It is the tenth loss in a row for the Scrappers tying the all-time consecutive loss record set in 2001.

Here comes the twist, attendance is up about 400 fans a game this season.  Credit Scrappers GM Jordan Taylor and staff for keeping their nose to the grindstone and performing.  It is hard to put bodies in seats when the home team has a batting average of .185.

Friday night the people showed up to enjoy fireworks after the game.  They showed up to admire Luke Holko’s progress as the youngster threw out the opening pitch.  They showed up for the mystery ball auction.  Saturday they will show up for Victor Martinez bobblehead night.  Martinez, a Tiger these days, was a Scrapper in those days.

They had a chance.  Martin Cervenka started the inning with a single.  Robel Garcia was called upon to pinch-run for Cervenka.  Garcia moved to second on a Josh McAdams sac bunt.  A wild pitch advanced Garcia to third.  With two outs, Claudio Bautista came to bat with the tying run 90 feet away.  Unfortunately, Bautista struck out to end the game – it’s how things go during a ten game losing streak.


Luis Lugo is having a decent year. Most of the Scrappers starting pitchers have fared better than the other facets of the team.  Lugo pitched five complete innings for the Scrappers giving up two runs, one earned.  Lugo threw 78 pitches, 47 were strikes.  He lowered his ERA to 2.08.  He, again, got no run support.

James Ramsey reached first trying to move the runner with a bunt for Tri-City.  Conrad Gregor then walked to make it first and second with one out.  Michael Martinez hit a ball to Scrappers shortstop Juan Herrera threw away, allowing Ramsey to score and put the Valley Cats ahead, 1-0.  Ryan Dineen then hit a ground rule double to plate Gregor.

Lugo then clamped down to shut Tri-City out for the rest of his start.  Manuel Carmona started the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings for the Scrappers.  Ben Heller finished the game for Mahoning Valley.


For Tri-City, Michael Feliz was tough on the Scrappers bats.  Every time Mahoning Valley would get someone on base, the Scrappers seemed to squander the chance to score.  Feliz threw 77 pitches in his five innings of work to get the win.

Nellie Rodriguez took some frustration out with a high blast that cleared the left field wall in the eighth, but the Scrappers could not muster more in the loss.

So the all-time mark in futility has been tied with ten consecutive losses.  I believe in Ted Kubiak.  I believe him when he says that these kids are out there trying every night.  I believe that the people will keep coming no matter how many losses in a row.

Come Saturday….  Victor Martinez bobble heads (below) are limited to the first 1,000 fans, and I would bet my bottom dollar that Taylor and the Scrappers staff can keep ’em coming.


Penguin Club Renewals For 2013-14 Sports Seasons Now Being Accepted


The Youngstown State Penguin Club is now accepting renewals and new memberships for the 2013-14 campaign. Being a part of the Penguin Club offers fans benefits while funds go directly to supporting our student-athletes.


The Penguin Club is the primary Athletics fund-raising organization and works diligently to enhance the student-athlete experience at YSU for Penguins from all sports. Members can join to assist the football program, the “Gridiron Club”, or the men’s and women’s basketball programs, the “Courtside Coaches”, or just have a general membership which provides support for all other teams.


For more information contact Tom Morella at (330) 941-2351 or via email at or Jim Morrison at (330) 941-3720 or


Members who join the “Gridiron Club” have access to tailgating permits and mid-field Chairback seating at YSU football games. Members who sign up for the “Courtside Coaches” group have access to the best seats as well as The Coaches Court, a room that provides refreshments to members before and during games.


Membership levels in the “Girdiron Club” are as follows: Booster Level ($75), Royal Level ($250), Emperor Level ($475), Kingbird Level ($950), Coaches Level ($1,425), Captains Level ($2,500) and Champions Level ($5,000). This year the Penguins play seven regular-season home games for just the second time in school history so prices have been adjusted accordingly.


The different membership levels include tickets, access to parking, priority seating, post-season ticket availability and other benefits.


Membership levels in the “Courtside Coaches” are as follows: Booster Level ($75), Royal Level ($300), Emperor Level ($600), Kingbird Level ($1,050), Coaches Level ($1,500) and Captains Level ($2,500). All benefits are for men’s and women’s basketball games.


The Penguin Club has also created an easy way to be a member and spread out your contribution through an ACH Recurring Payment plan.


Once again the ACH Recurring Payment feature is available for 2013-14. Through an Automated Clearing House (or ACH), YSU fans can pay for a membership with ease and are now able to spread out their membership dues over a period of months.


The option of paying for a membership in one payment still exists, however fans now have the convenience of having membership dues come directly from a checking or savings account automatically each month for an amount that works for them. Authorized regularly-scheduled payments, or “ACH Debits” to the Penguin Club will be made on the 15th day of each month.


For example, a $75 membership can be spread out over a five-to-seven month period for a payment of about $12-15 each month. Plus with a regularly-scheduled payment, fans save time, postage and don’t have to worry about late charges or any other hassles. Charges for each month must be the same.


The Penguin Club is a crucial part of YSU Athletics. Revenues from memberships generated by the organization cover costs of athletic grant-in-aid provided to student-athletes, which is the single-largest investment made by the Athletic Department. Athletic grant-in-aid can cover tuition, books, room and board. In addition, Penguin Club revenues support and enhance the Athletic Department’s general fund.


Here is a schedule of Penguin Club events for the 2013-14 academic year:


July 21 – Debra L. Hinkle Scholarship Bocce Social at Cassese’s MVR
Nov. 7 – Penguin Club Jamboree
Nov. 16 – Hall of Fame Ceremony
Feb. 18 – Scholarship Ring Banquet at Mr. Anthony’s
June 11, 2014 – Penguin Club Scholarship Golf Outing at Youngstown Country Club


Scrappers Losing Streak Extended In 12-3 Loss At State College


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers committed three more errors, making it the fourth game in a row with three plus errors.  State College blew a close game wide open in the sixth inning, and took advantage of the errors, on their way to a 12-3 pasting of the Scrappers.

Luis Lugo (above) started the game for the Scrappers and took the loss, falling to 1-2 on the season.  Lugo, however, left the game after throwing five innings and his team trailing 4-3.  Harold Guerrero and Manuel Carmona could not keep it close and the defense did not help.  Carmona did pick off a Spikes baserunner in the seventh.

Offensively,  the Scrappers collected seven hits and scored all three of their runs in the third inning.  Juan Romero had two of the seven hits and Juan Herrera collected a pair of RBI’s on a double.

The Scrappers will try again tomorrow to halt the losing streak, which now stands at five defeats in a row.

Generous Scrappers Beat Themselves in 6-3 Loss


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers 3rd round draft choice, Dace Kime, made his professional debut.  Kime only worked two innings and gave up an earned run.  The two-inning effort would not qualify Kime to figure in the decision.  The Scrappers kicked the ball around frequently in losing this one, -3, to the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Kime walked Williamsport leadoff hitter, Gustavo Martinez.  He recovered nicely to strike out the next two Crosscutters batters.  Zach Green sent up a welcome sign in the form of an RBI-double to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors.

The Scrappers responded with their own first-inning outburst.  Crosscutter starter Shane Martin also walked the leadoff hitter, Cody Ferrell, to start the traffic on the bases.  Paul Hendrix doubled Ferrell home to tie the game.  That set the stage for Nellie Rodriguez (below).  The Scrappers first basemen got all of a Martin fastball and deposited it over the centerfield fence to make it 3-1 in favor of Mahoning Valley.


With a two run lead, the Scrappers let the Crosscutters back into the game with a couple of errors.  Robel Garcia let a grounder get through at third base and Hendix dropped a pop-up that he was set to catch in foul territory.  The errors allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate and create a tie game at 3-3.

The generosity continued in the top of the sixth.  Scrappers catcher Sicnarf Loopstok attempted to throw out Dylan Cozens stealing second but the ball bounced past the bag and into center.  Cozens wound up at third and scored on a Logan Pierce double down the first base line.

A wild pitch and a passed ball and a hit batter allowed more Crosscutters to advance.  The result was Williamsport taking a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth.


Alexis Paredes started the seventh inning on the hill in relief of Matt Whiteside, who pitched well but didn’t get any help from the offense or defense.  Paredes got away with a wild pitch and hit batter to avoid putting the Scrappers further in the hole.

The Indians released a pair of Scrapper players after the July 4th game.  RHP Josh Nervis and OF Tyler Booth are now free to explore other career options.  The moves free up the necessary roster space to get Kime on the active roster.

Kime is the third local product to wear a Scrappers uniform this season.  LF Brian Ruiz and INF Nick Hamilton went to high school in Cleveland.  Kime is a Defiance, Ohio native who played his college ball at the University of Louisville.

Impressive statistic of the night – despite all of the wild pitches and errors, the Scrappers pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.