NILES, O.H. - The Auburn Doubledays (44-28) scored nine runs over the final two innings on Saturday, upending the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (30-41), 11-3, in front of 3,011 at Eastwood Field. The Doubledays and Scrappers split their season series 5-5.
Auburn was trailing 3-2 heading into the top of the eighth. That quickly changed as DH Craig Manuel lead off the inning by drawing a walk. That brought CF Wander Ramos to the plate, and he connected on a pitch, sending a fly ball over the left field wall for his seventh homerun of the season, putting the Doubledays ahead by one. Auburn tacked on one more run in the inning, as 3B Carlos Lopez reached base on a throwing error by SS Dorssys Paulino, and he scored on a sacrifice fly by Doubledays SS Mike McQuillan.
The flood gates then opened for Auburn in the ninth. In the frame the Doubledays sent 11 hitters to the plate, and scored six runs on three hits. All three hits came with two outs, and were accompanied by four walks in the inning and one error. Mahoning Valley finished the game having committed four errors for a second straight game.
Auburn took an initial 1-0 lead in the top of the first. McQuillan leadoff with a single up the middle, and that was followed by a line drive single to left by 2B Tony Renda. McQuillan advanced to third when 1B Shawn Pleffner grounded into a fielder's choice that retired Renda at second. McQuillan then scored on a sacrifice fly to right by RF Brandon Miller.
The Scrappers quickly responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. First baseman Eric Gonzalez began the frame by doubling on a line drive to right. He went to third on a fly ball to right, and scored on a single up the middle by Paulino. Mahoning Valley tacked on another run in the second thanks to a wild pitch from Doubledays starter LHP Brett Mooneyham. It was catcher Eric Haase who scored on the wild pitch. He had reached base on a missed catch fielding error by Miller in right, Auburn's only error of the night.
Each team scored a run in the seventh to keep it a one-run game. The Doubledays run came thanks to an RBI single by Miller, which drove in McQuillan from second. The scrappers scored on an RBI fielder's choice groundout off the bat of 2B Joe Wendle. From the third through sixth inning both teams combined for just four hits.
RHP Travis Henke (6-1) earned the win for Auburn, pitching two innings and allowing one earned run on two hits. Mooneyham ended up lasting six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out five. RHP James Stokes (1-4) suffered the loss for Mahoning Valley. Stokes allowed three runs (two earned) in just 0.2 innings because of the homerun he gave up to Ramos. RHP Robbie Aviles started for the Scrappers and gave up one earned run in five innings.
The Doubledays begin a crucial two game series with the Batavia Muckdogs on Sunday September 2. Auburn will send RHP Pedro Encarnacion (5-1) to the mound for his 12th start of the season. He will square off against RHP Joe Cuda (7-1) for Batavia. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05pm. All Doubledays road games can be heard on WAUB 98.1FM and 1590AM, and online at www.fingerlakesdailynews.com by clicking on the WAUB stream under the "listen" tab.