Mejia Hits in 11 Straight, Aiken Consistent, and More in the Scrappers’ Scrapbook
Bob Toth | On 30, Aug 2016
Despite giving it a remarkable run late, Mahoning Valley saw its Pinckney Division title hopes lost as the State College Spikes officially eliminated the Scrappers on Saturday night with their win over Auburn.
That the Scrappers were even in a position to be the last team eliminated in the division is astounding, given the horrible start to the short-season schedule for Mahoning Valley in 2016. At 35-33 after Monday night’s 6-5 win in extra innings, the Scrappers have done well to overcome that start and put together a promising season full of growth.
The Scrappers have two more games with Williamsport on the schedule to wrap up August before hosting State College in the final three home games of the season. They will finish the year on the road, playing two against West Virginia.
In other notes from the Scrappers’ scrapbook…
AIKEN A MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
On Saturday and for the third consecutive start, Brady Aiken worked five innings and allowed one earned run on three hits.
Aiken took the no-decision in his fourth start of the season and his first against West Virginia as he dropped his ERA with the Scrappers to 3.00. For the first time in short-season play, he did not walk a batter and he struck out five Black Bears in the outing. The lone run in his start came via home run.
In a combined 42 innings between Arizona and Mahoning Valley, Aiken has struck out 53 batters and walked 19.
BIEBER STILL KEEPING RUNS OFF THE BOARD
Fourth round draft pick Shane Bieber added two more scoreless appearances to his total this season with a pair of starts in the last week against Brooklyn and West Virginia.
Bieber went three innings on Tuesday, offering no hits and one walk while striking out a pair. The 21-year-old right-hander threw another three solid innings on Sunday, giving up a hit and striking out one while allowing just his second run of the season and his first that was unearned.
In eight outings (seven starts) this season, Bieber has allowed two runs (one earned) in 21 innings of work. He has struck out 20 batters, walked two, and hit one, posting a 0.43 ERA, a 0.48 WHIP, and a .113 batting average against. He was selected in the June draft out of UC Santa Barbara.
CIVALE’S STRONG SEASON CONTINUES
Aaron Civale, the Indians’ third rounder this season out of Northeastern, is on a plan on the mound similar to Bieber and is performing at high levels as well.
He made his eleventh start of the season on Wednesday, throwing three scoreless innings against Brooklyn while walking one and striking out a pair. The outing dropped his season ERA to 1.99, his WHIP to 0.88, and his batting average against to .194.
In Monday’s win, he got the start and went another three scoreless innings, giving up one hit while striking out two.
HILLMAN BACK ON TRACK
Juan Hillman took the no-decision in his last start on Thursday against Brooklyn, but the outing was an improvement over his previous effort.
Coming off of a three-inning, six-run, ten-hit start against State College in a loss on August 20, the 19-year-old left-hander went four innings, giving up one run on five hits with four walks and a strikeout. The four walks were a season high for the southpaw, who remained 3-3 on the season through 13 starts with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP.
JIMENEZ FINISHES AUGUST STRONG
Making his final start of August, right-hander Luis Jimenez worked five scoreless innings against West Virginia, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out five to earn his first win of the season.
In five starts in the month, the 21-year-old was 1-0 with a 1.78 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. He earned a 0.95 WHIP and held opposing hitters to a .163 batting average.
MEJIA PUSHES HITTING STREAK TO ELEVEN STRAIGHT
Gabriel Mejia has hit safely in each of his last eleven games with 20 hits in 48 at bats in that span (.417 average). He has four runs batted in, eight stolen bases, and eleven runs scored during that streak. He ended a string of 17 consecutive singles to begin that hitting streak on Sunday with his sixth inning triple, but he added two more singles for consistency’s sake in the Scrappers win on Monday.
TAPIA SETS PRO CAREER HIGH
Emmanuel Tapia, the Scrappers’ 20-year-old first baseman/designated hitter, set a new professional career high with four hits in the 5-1 win over Brooklyn on Thursday. He singled in the first inning to load the bases, did the same in the third, singled again to lead off the fifth inning, and singled for a fourth consecutive at bat in the sixth to drive in a run. He struck out looking in his final at bat in the eighth.
Tapia is in his fourth season in the Indians organization after signing with the club as a non-drafted free agent on January 18, 2013.
TULLY SETS NEW BEST
All-Star left-hander Tanner Tully set a new career-best with five strikeouts in his five-inning start on Friday against West Virginia. He allowed one run on five hits in the contest, earning a no-decision.
ON THE MOVE
Outfielder Andrew Calica and pitcher Kenny Mathews both moved from Niles to Eastlake on Friday to join the Lake County Captains. Calica was a midseason All-Star in the New York-Penn League and put together a 3-for-3 effort for the Scrappers the day before his promotion.
Photo removed by request