McKenzie Strong, Ice Homers, and Several Pro Debuts in Scrappers’ Scrapbook

It’s been a rough start to the season for the young Mahoning Valley Scrappers (3-12), but they did pull out a pair of wins this week to give them three so far in New York-Penn League play.

They were 2-4 on their homestand to wrap up the month of June, losing two of three to Batavia and Auburn. Their 10-4 win last Saturday over Batavia was their second double-digit scoring game of the early season, a feat that they nearly matched in their 9-5 win over Auburn on Tuesday. They hit the road for a three-games series this week against State College (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate), but they lost the opener on Friday, 4-3.

More scraps from the Scrappers’ scrapbook:


Starting pitcher Triston McKenzie looked every bit of a high draft pick on Tuesday when he shut down Auburn with six quality innings on the mound. He allowed just one run on two hits while striking out a season-high eight to earn his first win of 2016. It was the first earned run that he has allowed in 16 2/3 innings of three starts this season.

The 18-year-old right-hander was drafted in the Collective Bargaining A phase of the 2015 draft.


Cleveland’s third pick in the June draft, catcher Logan Ice (pictured), notched his first professional home run on Saturday, a solo shot. He added a walk and scored a pair of runs on the day. The 21-year-old was taken in the Collective Bargaining B Phase out of Oregon State.


Jodd Carter, the Scrappers’ 19-year-old outfielder out of Hilo, Hawaii, saw his six-game hitting streak come to an end on Wednesday with an 0-for-4 at the plate. He had single hits in each of the first five games of the streak before getting a pair of hits and three RBI against Auburn on Tuesday.

Gabriel Mejia, the 20-year-old third-year pro, saw his own six-game hitting streak end on Sunday. He did draw a pair of walks and got a hit the next day to extend his on-base streak to eight straight before going hitless on June 28 against Auburn. He has scored at least one run in six of his last seven games.


Catcher Gavin Collins made his professional debut on Saturday for the Scrappers, getting a double for his first hit while walking twice in the contest. He followed it up with a pair of hits on both Tuesday and Wednesday before going 0-for-4 in each of his last two games.

Collins was the Indians’ 13th round pick in this June’s draft out of Mississippi State.


Right-handed pitcher Dace Kime joined the club last Saturday to continue his rehab assignment and has made two appearances for the Scrappers. He started the year at Double-A with the Akron RubberDucks before suffering a right calf strain.

He was charged with all four Spikes runs in three innings of work on Friday night, walking two and striking out three, in Mahoning Valley’s loss to State College, 4-3.

Kime had worked in a pair of games in the Arizona League before joining the Scrappers and made 52 pitches in his outing on June 27 against Batavia. He worked two and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs (none of which were earned) on four hits while walking out three and striking out none.


Infielder Erlin Cerda was assigned to the Scrappers on Monday after a brief stay with the Lake County Captains. The third baseman had moved up to Lake County on June 23.

He has hits in three of his four games since returning to the Scrappers roster, with a pair of multi-hit games. He homered and drove in two on Wednesday.


Catcher Jack Goihl moved up to the Class-A Lake County roster on Saturday, but needed to be placed on the disabled list by the Captains on Friday.

Left-hander Tanner Tully was assigned to the Mahoning Valley roster on Tuesday and made his professional debut that day, giving up two hits and four runs (none earned) in an inning of relief. The 21-year-old was a 26th round pick by the Indians this season out of The Ohio State University. He fared better in his second outing, firing two scoreless innings of relief on Friday, allowing a hit while striking out three.

Eighth round draft pick of this June’s draft, pitcher Andrew Lantrip out of the University of Houston, was assigned to the Scrappers roster on Thursday. On Friday, the Scrappers sent third baseman Grofi Cruz to Goodyear to join the Arizona League team.

Photo: John Vargo/Tribune Chronicle

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