NILES, OH – The Scrappers used a pair of big innings to fuel an 11-4 victory of the IronBirds on Thursday night. Mahoning Valley plated five runs in the second inning and six more runs in the fourth en route to the win.
LHP Cameron Coffey made his third start of the season for the IronBirds on Thursday. Coffey struck out the first two batters he faced and retired the side in order in the first inning. The Scrappers’ bats exploded in the second inning. Mahoning Valley scored five runs on six innings in the frame. SS Jairo Kelly capped off the big inning with a two-run triple to right-center.
Coffey exited the contest after the second inning. He allowed five runs on six hits while striking out four and walking none.
Despite loading the bases in the top of the first with no outs, Aberdeen did not get on the board until the third inning. CF Anthony Vega led off the third with a single to centerfield. Later in the frame, 1B Cameron Edman lined a Luis DeJesus pitch up the middle. Vega, who stole his fifth base of the season during the third, scored from second on Edman’s single.
Still ahead by four runs, Mahoning Valley tagged reliever Dustin Ward for six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With a pair of runs already home in the inning, RF Juan Romero stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. Romero, who had struck out in his first two at-bats of the night, line a Dustin Ward pitch into the gap into right-center. CF Tyler Naquin, 3B Joe Wendle, and LF Aaron Seliga all scored on the play. Romero slid into third with his first triple of the season. 2B Robel Garcia drove in the Scrappers’ final run of the inning with a RBI single to left field.
The IronBirds scored three runs off RHP Luis Encarnacion in the top of the sixth but it was too little, too late for the Birds.
1B Cameron Edman led off the top of the seventh for Aberdeen. Edman was rung up on an outside breaking ball. On his way back to the dugout, Edman was ejected from the game. Following Edman’s ejection, IronBirds’ manager Gary Allenson got a heated discussion with home plate umpire Ben Levin. Allenson was eventually ejected from the game as well.
IronBirds’ Field Coach Brad Komminsk was ejected in the bottom of the seventh after RHP Alex Schmarzo tried to quick pitch SS Jairo Kelly but the pitch did not count.
Schmarzo tossed a career-high four shutout innings to close out the IronBirds loss.
Luis DeJesus (2-0) got the win on the night while Cameron Coffey (0-3) picked up the loss.
The IronBirds and Scrappers will close out the three-game series on Friday night in Mahoning Valley. RHP Sebastian Vader (0-2, 6.92) will take the hill for Aberdeen while the Scrappers will turn to LHP Ryan Merritt (2-1, 3.00). First pitch from Eastwood Field is set for 7:05 p.m. Coverage on the IronBirds Radio Network will begin at 6:50 p.m.