Cutters win at Bowman

Rudy Rott gave the Cutters all the offense it needed in a 3-1 win over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the series finale Saturday night at Bowman Field.

Tyler Burch pitched a four inning gem and got the win on the mound after the Cutters dropped the first two games of the home series.

“We played perfect baseball, exactly the way you’d want to play the game. We hit, executed plays and had great pitching,” Crosscutters manager Pat Borders said. “Burch went five innings, got Vargas out there, and then Marchoni came in and threw strikes, got two strikeouts and a ground out to end the game.

“I told the guys after the last two nights not to throw away their season with two weeks to go. Don’t allow it to affect your hits and averages. Borders said it’s about the improvement of his players that is what he is looking for at this level, even though there is that level of competitive spirit and people want to win. They need to continue to work hard and rest every at-bat like it’s the last at-bat of the season.”

The Cutters scored a run in the third inning and two in the fourth. Nicolas Torres came up big with a scorcher down the left-field line to drive in Nate Fassnacht from second. Williamsport came back to add two in the fourth. Jake Holmes and Kendall Simmons led off the inning with a single and reaching on a strikeout pass ball. After two strikeouts, Rott came up with a bloop single to center field easily scoring Holmes from third base and Simmons was on his horse coming in right behind Holmes.

“(Espino) was tough, we had a couple guys on base and I had a great at-bat, I was locked in, and was able to bring the runs in. I was out front of his fastball, his velocity dropped from the first time and I got enough bat on it,” Rott said of his two run single which proved to be the difference in a 3-1 game.

Burch quieted the hot hitting from the Scrappers as he gave up just two hits in his five-inning, 58-pitch outing, outdoing his counterpart and hard throwing Scrapper starter Daniel Espino who was throwing mid-90s. But it didn’t faze the Crosscutters working him to three runs in four innings.

“The game plan was to go out there and fill up the zone, that’s when I do best and I was able to execute my pitches, being able to throw all three for strikes to keep Mahoning Valley off balance was the biggest thing for me tonight,” Burch said. “Then to have Vargas and Marchoni come in and get quality outs, it was huge. It’s a good feeling as a starting pitcher to have guys behind you that you know will compete for you.”

Victor Vargas came on to relieve Burch in the sixth inning, he threw three clean innings before allowing a run and loading the bases in the top of the ninth, giving up four hits – three doubles and a single — and recording four strikeouts.

With a 3-0 lead in the ninth, Vargas gave up a leadoff single to Korey Holland, a double by Brayan Racchio and a four pitch walk to Will Brennan that loaded the bases and ended his night before Brian Marchoni shut the door on another Scrappers rally.

Marchoni tried too much for the moment as he walked the first batter on five pitches and allow a run to score. Pitching coach Hector Berrios gave Marchoni time to settle in and get the final three outs in the game with two big strikeouts and a ground out to end the game.

“I was focused too much on mechanical things instead of just throwing and I just missed my spot before Berrios came out to talk and after that I was able to get the outs,” Marchoni said.

“(Marchoni’s) been working on things and when you’re young you start thinking about the things that are working on instead of focusing on the moment. So I went out there to get him back in the moment, to understand the situation and what he can do to throw strikes,” Berrios said.