AUBURN, NY - At the Class-A Short Season level, situational hitting is perhaps one of the tools most frequently stressed during the course of daily routine. On Tuesday night, the Auburn Doubledays made their coaches proud.
Each of the first four runs that crossed the plate for the Doubledays was generated with two outs, and Auburn topped Mahoning Valley 4-2 at Falcon Park.
The clutch hitting began in the first for the Doubledays. With two out, Jose Marmolejos worked a full count and walked against Scrappers starter Sean Brady. Raudy Read, who reached base three times on the night, ripped a double down the left field line that pushed Marmolejos to third. Garrett Gordon followed with a frozen rope to left-center that plated Marmolejos and Read and put the Doubledays up 2-1.
With the game tied at two in the seventh, the Doubledays again lost their first two hitters to outs. But Bryan Langlois tapped a soft grounder to third and beat out the throw from Yonathan Mendoza to extend the inning. Bryan Mejia took advantage, smashing a triple that one-hopped the centerfield fence and brought Langlois in with the go-ahead run. A balk, the second of the inning for Scrappers reliever Jose Zapata (0-1), sent Mejia home with an insurance run that made it 4-2. The Doubledays tacked on one more in the eighth, this time a one-out double from Diomedes Eusebio that scored Gordon.
Doubledays starter Jefry Rodriguez (1-0), the Nationals' 9th-ranked prospect, was solid over six innings, allowing two runs on nine hits without walking a batter. Top Indians prospect Francisco Mejia was the only Scrapper with any real answer for Rodriguez; he laced RBI singles in each of his first two at-bats. Rodriguez buckled down and put up zeroes in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Relievers RC Orlan and Sam Johns held Mahoning Valley punchless through the final three frames, with Johns picking up the first save of his professional career.
The Doubledays and Scrappers go at it again tomorrow night at Falcon Park. Doubledays RHP Drew Van Orden, the Nationals' fifth-round pick this year out of Duke, takes the mound for his professional debut against Scrappers RHP Juan Santana (0-3, 4.40). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and gates open at 6. Tickets can be purchased right here on auburndoubledays.com, by phone at (315) 255-2489, or at the Falcon Park box office.