Cutters’ early lead doesn’t hold up in loss

For the first four innings of the game between Williamsport and Mahoning Valley, things looked good for the Crosscutters as they held a one-run lead with starting pitcher Feliberto Sanchez rolling along.

However, during the final five innings, things were a lot different as the Scrappers put up three crooked numbers in a row to outscore the Cutters for a 9-1 win before 1,079 fans at Bowman Field.

“It was just one of those things that happens in baseball,” said Cutters manager Shawn Williams about the collapse. “We had the big home run from Tromp and I thought Sanchez threw the ball very well and that was nice to see. Even though they got a couple off of him in the fifth, he held it to a tight game and that is all you can ask for. Again I thought the kids played hard all nine innings and again, that is all you can ask of them.”

Jiandido Tromp jump-started the Cutters to a quick 1-0 lead when he picked on a 1-0 fastball offering from Juan Santana for a solo home run to left.

For Tromp, the home run was his 13th of the season, tying him with Walter Young (2001) and Zach Green (2013) for the single-season Cutters record. All 13 home runs for Tromp this year have come at Bowman?Field.

“He has a nice short stroke with a quick bat,” Williams said of Tromp. “He creates a lot of bat speed with his wrist strength and that generates a lot of power for all the bigger he is. When he hits the ball, he puts a real charge into it. It was nice to see him tie the record.”

Sailing along through a scoreless first four innings, Sanchez ran into problems in the fifth when the Scrappers put together three singles, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly for a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead.

Sanchez worked the first five innings, allowing a pair of runs on six hits, three of those hits coming in the fifth inning.

“He was keeping everything down,” said Williams. “We stress that in the organization and he did a great job of that. Sometimes he gets hurt when he gets the pitches up, but even when he was missing, everything was down. He was just unhittable through those first four innings.”

Already up 2-1, the Scrappers tacked on a pair of runs against Cutter reliever Chris Oliver.

Francisco Mejia walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a groundout by Leo Castillo and raced home on a sacrifice fly to left by Taylor Murphy. Two pitches later, D’Vone McClure went deep to left field for a solo home run.

If there was any doubt as to the winner of the game, the Scrappers took care of answering that question as they loaded the bases with nobody out en route to scoring five runs to take a 9-1 lead and blow the game wide open.

For Mahoning Valley, Juan Santana worked five innings to pick up the win, his first of the season. The righthander allowed just one run on three hits, walking nobody and striking out four.

The big difference between the two teams in the game was that the Cutters were blanked by the Mahoning Valley relievers over the final four innings, while the Scrappers touched up the Cutters’ bullpen for seven runs.

“The thing that we have had all year is that our bullpen has been outstanding as a whole,” said Williams. “I think it was just one of those games where it just happened. We fell behind in the counts and they took advantage of some balls up in the zone. Some nights that works in your favor, but for us, tonight it didn’t.”