Aiken Gets First Pro Wins, All-Stars, an MVP, Streaks, and More in the Scrappers’ Scrapbook

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ hopes of staying above the .500 mark and tracking down a wild card spot hit a bit of a bump in the road as play has resumed following the brief All-Star festivities last week.

The third place Scrappers (30-31) traveled to Batavia, splitting a doubleheader on Wednesday with the Muckdogs while splitting the final two games of the series on Thursday and Friday. They returned home over the weekend to host State College, the top team in the Pinckney Division, who reminded the Scrappers of that fact by taking two of the three contests.

Mahoning Valley will finish up the week with three in Brooklyn starting Tuesday night before returning home this weekend for three against West Virginia from Niles. The season is rapidly coming to its conclusion, as they will journey to Williamsport for three to wrap up the month before a week of September play.

In other news and notes from the Scrappers’ scrapbook:


Erlin Cerda took home some impressive hardware from his trip to the New York-Penn League’s All-Star Game on August 16. His three-run home run in the fourth inning turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. His South roster teammates would never look back and would pile on in a 9-5 victory.

The 22-year-old was 1-for-2 in the game with a game-high three RBI and his key home run.


Five other Scrappers were named to the NYPL All-Star Game, including outfielders Gabriel Mejia, Todd Isaacs, and Andrew Calica and pitchers Tanner Tully and Juan Hillman.

Mejia started the game in center field and was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Isaacs pinch-hit in the sixth inning and went 0-for-3, but did score a run while serving as the team’s designated hitter. Calica reached with a single and was hit by a pitch after entering the game in the bottom of the fifth as a defensive substitution. He also drove in a run and stole a base.

Tully pitched a scoreless bottom of the fifth inning, protecting the South lead, while Hillman did not play in the exhibition.


Calica did not let the travel for the All-Star Game affect his play on the field for the Scrappers when he rejoined the club. Instead, he has extended his hitting streak to eight straight games and his on-base streak to eleven consecutive games.

The eleventh round pick in this year’s draft out of UC Santa Barbara is hitting .392 with a .494 on-base percentage and has stolen 13 bases in 15 attempts.

Mejia’s 12-game hitting streak ended in the second game of the doubleheader on Wednesday with Batavia. He responded to his 0-for-4 with three strikeouts by starting a new hitting streak. That one is now five games long and consists of eight hits, all singles. In fact, every hit he has to his credit since July 26 has been a single.


Brady Aiken won a pair of games over the last week while making his second and third starts for the Scrappers.

On August 17 at Batavia, he started the first game after the All-Star break and matched a season-high with five innings of work on the mound. The 20-year-old left-hander allowed a run on three hits, walked three, and struck out six in earning his first professional win.

He nearly cloned his results five days later as he defeated State College. He again threw five innings, allowing a run on three hits. This time, he issued just one free pass while striking out six again.

In three starts for the Scrappers, Aiken is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP, and is averaging a strikeout per inning pitched.


Left-hander Ben Krauth’s dominance of the New York-Penn League continued this week as he fired off four innings of scoreless one-hit relief on Friday against Batavia, striking out five batters. The outing was his second consecutive four-inning appearance. In 14 2/3 innings for Mahoning Valley, he has struck out 20 batters and has not given up a run. In 28 2/3 innings combined with his time in the Arizona League, he has struck out 40 batters and issued just one unearned run on his season.

Krauth was a 16th round draft pick by the Indians out of Kansas in June.


On August 15, right-handed pitcher Ryan Colegate was selected as the New York-Penn League’s Pitcher of the Week for games played between August 8 and August 14. In two appearances that week, he fired six innings of scoreless baseball, allowing just one hit to the 20 batters that he faced.

He finally allowed runs on Wednesday, giving up two earned on five hits and two walks in three and one-third innings of work in a start against Batavia. He was back in a relief role his next time out on Sunday, giving up an unearned run in three innings out of the ‘pen.


Fourth round pick Shane Bieber worked three scoreless innings on Thursday against Batavia. He did not allow a hit or a walk in the outing while matching his season high with four strikeouts.

In six outings this season, he has a 0.60 ERA. He allowed an earned run in his debut on July 22 and has fired 13 scoreless innings while allowing just five hits and a walk in the five appearances since.


Luis Jimenez, a 21-year-old right-hander, worked six and one-third innings of scoreless baseball against Batavia on Thursday. He allowed just three hits, walked one, and hit a batter while striking out a season-high five. It was his third straight relief appearance and fourth of the season after starting the short-season schedule working mainly as a starter.


Hillman, the 19-year-old second-year left-hander, has had a rough August, with the exception of his trip to the All-Star Game. In four starts in the month, he has allowed 14 runs (all earned) on 20 hits, walked six, and struck out 12 in 15 2/3 innings. He has a 1-2 record, an 8.04 ERA, and a 1.66 WHIP in that span. It was highlighted by a season-high ten hits and six runs allowed in three innings in a loss to State College on Saturday.

By comparison, he had allowed just ten earned runs in 38 innings (2.37 ERA) through his first eight starts in June and July with a 1.18 WHIP.


Jonathan Laureno brought a 0-for-37 streak into Wednesday’s game and snapped it with a single.

Photo removed by request

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