Cutters win third in a row

WILLIAMSPORT – Hanging around for the right opportunity.

That is what Williamsport did Monday night at Bowman Field as they defeated Mahoning Valley, 4-2, for its third win in a row.

With the two teams deadlocked at 2-2, the opportunity came knocking in the bottom of the eighth as the Cutters scored a pair of runs for the win.

“Early in the game, we kept the game close,” said Cutter manager Nelson Prada. “I think it was a game of mistakes on both sides. We took advantage of their mistakes and they took advantage of ours. I think we hit the ball a little better than they did and right now, we are pitching pretty good.”

The Cutters broke the tie in the eighth with a pair of runs and they used a couple of Scrapper miscues to get the job done.

Zach Green was hit by a pitch from Briely Puerta and scored following Dylan Cozens’ single to right when the Scrappers decided to toss the ball all over the park for a couple of errors.

Cozens made it 4-2 Williamsport when Martinez muscled an RBI single over the shortstop’s head for an insurance run.

Felix Santos came on in the eighth for the Cutters and the righty retired all six men he faced to pick up the win.

“He (Santos) has been one of our more reliable guys,” said Prada. “We had a discussion in the eighth if we score a run do we go with someone else, but we felt that Santos could do the job. He got the first three outs on just seven or eight pitches. Sometimes you have to believe in what you see. If Santos would have labored in the eighth, then we might have gone to Rojas because he has been pitching real well also.”

As for two of the more glaring mistakes referred to by Prada, they both came as a result of Cutter outfielders attempting to make diving catches, only to come up short both times.

“We talked to both players about it,” Prada said. “We didn’t have a good chance to catch either ball and what we should have done was just try to keep the ball in front of us so the opponent wouldn’t be able to take two or three extra bases. The second one with two outs maybe (Gustavo) Martinez had a chance to make that play, but as for the first one, no. After that we got a couple of strikeouts and shouldn’t have given up the run. What it comes down to is that you have to put it on a scale as to what you might have gained and what you lost.”

The Scrappers got on the board in the second inning when Nellie Rodriguez worked Julio Reyes for a free pass and scored on Paul Hendrix’s double to left when Samuel Hiciano came up short of making the diving catch.

Down by a run, the Cutters took a 2-1 lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings.

The tying run in the third inning was scored in a non-conventional manner. Justin Parr singled to center, Andrew Pullin and Andrew Knapp reached on back-to-back errors to load the sacks and Parr scored when Cozens was hit by a pitch from Scrapper lefty Kenny Matthews.

In the fourth, Martinez led off with a single to center, stole second and scored on an RBI double by Pullin.

The Cutter lead was short-lived as the Scrappers tied it in the fifth when Joel Mejia reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an RBI triple by Claudio Bautista when another diving attempt in the Cutter outfield came up short on Bautista’s base hit.

The Cutters will remain at home tonight when they host State College. Following that game, the Cutters will make their way to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Wednesday and Thursday to complete the three-game series with the Spikes. First pitch for each game is set for 7:05 p.m.