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Doubledays drop series opener to Scrappers

The Doubledays’ offense folded under pressure in a series that could ultimately determine first place in the Pinckney Division. Auburn only managed to tally three runs on 10 hits – with three errors made by their opposition – in a 5-3 loss to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

The Doubledays struck early and put up a two-spot in the first inning when Kyle Marinconz set the table with a line drive single off of Scrappers starter Alex Royalty. Marinconz advanced to second on a groundout by Telmito Agustin, and a throwing error on a ball put in play by Israel Pineda put runners at first and second with just one out.

Batting cleanup for the second night in a row, Jacob Rhinesmith grounded out to the second baseman to bring in Marinconz. Jamori Blash then muscled his eighth double of the season to put the Doubledays ahead 2-0. Those two runs had already been the most that Royalty had allowed all season, and they turn out to be the only two runs for Auburn.

Despite the Doubledays’ quiet bats the rest of the way through, Auburn benefited greatly from having Cesar Vargas – on a rehab assignment from Syracuse – on the mound to start the contest. Though he only went two innings, he struck out three batters and allowed just one hit before handing the baton to Francys Peguero.

El Pegui started shaky after allowing two runs in his first inning of work. After getting his first batter to strike out swinging, Henry Pujols connected on a high fly ball that just barely went over the well in left-center field to cut the Doubledays’ lead in half. Peguero rebounded nicely with a strikeout out of the zone, but Israel Pineda could not locate the ball. The pitch rolled all the way to the warning track and allow the batter to reach safely.

With what should have been the inning’s second out now at first base, Jose Fermin lined a double to left field to tie the game at two-apiece.

Francys followed his less-than favorable third inning by putting up zeros in the fourth and fifth, but Mahoning Valley managed to tack on what would be the game winning run in the sixth. A wild pitch advanced Mahoning Valley’s runner on first to second base, and a single by Hosea Nelson put the Scrappers up, 3-2.

The Scrappers attacked twice more when Ryan Tapani took over on the mound with Mahoning Valley posted two single runs in the eighth and ninth innings. While the Doubledays rallied in the ninth inning with a bases loaded single by Jacob Rhinesmith that brought in a run and put runners at the corner, Blash popped out in foul territory to end the game.

The Doubledays will be back in action Wednesday for Game 2 against the Scrappers at 6:30. Listen LIVE on FingerLakes1.com Radio and check out the pregame show on FingerLakes1.TV starting at 6:15 pm.

By Chris Valentino Tril

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