The only thing that could slow down the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the last week was Mother Nature, and she succeeded twice in doing so.
The Scrappers are playing their best baseball of the short season. They are 9-4 in August and riding a five-game winning streak. Coupled with a four-game streak earlier in the month, they have pulled into third place in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division with a 27-27 record, nine games in back of State College and 12 games away from being eliminated from the division crown. The week was won by taking two games at home against Batavia before wet grounds cancelled the finale. After winning the opener against Williamsport on Friday, Saturday’s game was washed out before the Scrappers took a doubleheader on Sunday.
After the All-Star break this week, Mahoning Valley will travel to Batavia for four games in three days starting Wednesday before returning to Niles for three with State College starting Saturday night.
In other news and notes from the Scrappers’ Scrapbook:
The Scrappers will send six players to this week’s All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, August 16, at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York.
Pitchers Juan Hillman and Tanner Tully, infielder Erlin Cerda, and outfielders Andrew Calica, Todd Isaacs, and Gabriel Mejia all earned spots on the South team after strong starts to the short-season schedule.
First rounder from the 2015 draft, left-hander Brady Aiken, made his short-season debut with the Scrappers on Wednesday. He worked three innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with a pair of walks, a hit batter, and one strikeout.
While the results were mixed, it was a step in the right direction in Aiken’s pro debut. He had made nine appearances for the Arizona League Indians beginning in the second half of June, posting a 7.13 ERA and 1.88 WHIP while striking out 35 batters in 24 innings.
ELEVEN-GAME STREAK FOR MEJIA
The Scrappers’ Mejia now has the longest hitting streak among Mejias in the Indians farm system after catching prospect Francisco Mejia’s hitting streak ended on Sunday. Gabriel had five hits in eight at bats in Sunday’s doubleheader, getting a pair of singles and scoring two runs in the opener before adding three singles in the second contest.
He has hit in eleven straight games, with all 18 hits in that span falling for singles. He has six multi-hit games in the streak.
ISAACS’ WALK-OFF BLAST
Isaacs celebrated his All-Star worthy start to the season with a two-homer game last Tuesday, including the walk-off three-run shot in the bottom of the eleventh as Mahoning Valley knocked off Batavia, 9-6.
The Scrappers gave up five runs in the eighth and ninth innings to force extras and fell behind 6-5 in the top half before Alexis Pantoja tied the game. Isaacs iced the game with a three-run shot to send the Scrappers home a winner.
The two jacks gave Isaacs a team-leading five homers on the season. He is hitting .360 with a team-high .584 slugging percentage through 29 games in his second season in the Indians organization.
CALICA LEADING THE SCRAPPERS
Calica’s All-Star nod was certainly well deserved as the first-year pro taken in the eleventh round this season out of UC Santa Barbara has made the most out of his playing time.
Through 32 games, the outfielder has posted a slash line of .376/.489/.532 with four doubles, five triples, a homer, and 19 RBI. He leads the Scrappers in batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and triples and is second in slugging percentage and stolen bases.
CIVALE BOUNCES BACK
Aaron Civale bounced back from his worst start of the season with three no-hit innings on Friday against Wilmington.
The 21-year-old right-hander out of Northeastern was tagged for four runs on six hits in three and two-thirds innings against Hudson Valley on August 6, but recovered with three nearly perfect innings in his next start, striking out two, hitting a batter, and allowing one unearned run.
KRAUTH’S SCORELESS STREAK
Ben Krauth made it three straight appearances with Mahoning Valley without giving up a run with four innings of no-hit relief on Friday. In the outing, he struck out six batters and has now struck out 15 in ten and two-thirds innings of New York-Penn League action.
The 22-year-old left-hander has yet to allow an earned run on the season, a span of ten appearances and 24 2/3 innings. He was charged with one unearned run while pitching with the Arizona League Indians in seven appearances there. He has 35 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings.
COLEGATE’S GOT ONE, TOO
Ryan Colegate extended his scoreless streak to six straight appearances (one start) and 14 innings with a pair of outings in the last week. He earned a win over Batavia on August 10 with four innings of one-hit relief, striking out four. He followed it up with a hitless effort on Sunday against Wilmington, with a hit batter the only blemish on his stat line in two innings.
Fans in attendance at the game on Saturday, August 27, will get their choice between a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump bobblehead.
Photo removed by request