Scrappers Take Rubber Match at Williamsport

July 19, 2019 10:44 PM

Williamsport, Pa. - The Mahoning Valley Scrappers took the finale of a three-game series at Williamsport with a 7-0 victory on Friday night. The Crosscutters were shut out in a nine-inning game for a fourth time this season and were held to a nine-inning season-low three hits. 

Carlos Vargas (2-2) starred for Mahoning Valley with six innings of two-hit shutout ball. And Billy Wilson made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall in the fifth to rob Hunter Hearn an RBI hit and then Wilson followed that up a half-inning later with a home-run.

George Valera (7th) and Billy Wilson (1st) both socked home runs for the visitors to provide the bulk of the offense.

League home run leader George Valera opened the scoring with an inside-the-park home run in the first inning when Hunter Markwardt crashed full-speed into the wall attempting to make a great catch. Markwardt went down hard and was slow to get up but eventually walked off the field on his own power. He was immediately replaced in the game by newcomer Johan Rojas who had just arrived from the Gulf Coast League a couple hours earlier. The 18-year-old outfielder produced a double in the ninth, a hard-hit ball for a deep fly-out in the first, and a walk and stolen base in between.

After Cutters starter Tyler Burch made way for Brian Marconi in the first inning, the score held at 2-0. The New Jersey left-hander, Marconi, offered 2.1 innings of no-hit relief to keep the Cutters in the game early. 

But Vargas was tremendous for the Scrappers as he smartly spotted his blazing fastball while working in a strong mix of breaking balls and change-ups. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and allowed zero hits through the first four innings and only allowed two hits in his six-inning stint in total.

The last out that Vargas recorded, at the end of the sixth, was on a bunt attempt by first-rounder Bryson Stott who was doing anything he could to try to reach base against the talented MAhoning Valley hurler.

Logan O'Hoppe doubled to left in the fifth for Williamsport's first base hit of the game. It was O'Hoppe's seventh extra base hit in the past seven games that includes three doubles, one triple, and three home runs.

But Hunter Hearn was robbed of his bid to drive in O'Hoppe on a spectacular leaping catch at the wall by Billy Wilson who timed his jump perfectly. A half-inning later, Wilson reached down to get a low offering from Leonel Aponte which he was able to golf over the wall in the right field corner for a two-run homer in the sixth and a 4-0 lead.

Bryan Lavastida's three-run double belted to deep right-center in the eighth completed the scoring and put the game away for the Scrappers. 

Mahoning Valley leads the season-series 5-4 and will return to Williamsport in late August for a follow-up three-game set. In all three series played between the two teams, the visitors have prevailed in two out of three matches.

The Crosscutters travel to State College on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. to open a three-game series against the Spikes, the NYPL affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. LHP Junior Tejada (0-0, 2.66) is the starting probable for Williamsport.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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