Auburn bats come alive in win over Scrappers

Doubledays starter Tim Cate – after three solid innings of work to start the game – began to struggle in his fourth inning of work against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. He was entering uncharted territory as his longest outing to that point had been 3.1 innings, and, pitching in Auburn for the first time in his four starts, it appeared that the Scrappers had finally figured him out.

Cate was charged for two runs on two hits and a hit batter, with the inning ending only after his defense nabbed the third out in a pickle between third base and home plate. But thanks to an offensive explosion in the home half, Cate ended the night landing on his feet.

The Doubledays (17-15) bailed out Tim with a three-run fourth inning and maintained a lead the rest of the way through, salvaging Game 3 against the Scrappers (19-12) with a 7-5 victory.

Auburn’s three-run inning came after being shut out for the first third of the game by Scrappers starter Juan Mota. Mota only struck out one batter his entire outing – Carson Shaddy in the game’s first at-bat – but his defense bailed him out by constantly being in the right place at the right time.

But after getting his first lead of the night in the fourth, the Doubledays’ offense finally sparked and lit up Mota. Israel Pineda set the table with a single, and after a Jacob Rhinesmith single, Pablo O’Connor was plunked to load the bases.

Adalberto Carrillo was nailed to bring in the runner at third, and a Jose Sanchez ground ball turned into another two runs after a throwing error by third baseman Jhan Rodriguez.

With the Doubledays still hungry for more, Auburn’s bats scored two more runs off Mota in the fifth and a single run in the sixth off of Scrappers righty Jordan Scheftz. The Doubledays’ offensive serve was even more refreshing due to the fact that – while the Doubledays scored first the past two contests – the team has struggled in putting up crooked numbers late in games.

The Scrappers made things interesting, however, by putting a single run in the sixth and a two-spot in the seventh. Alec Maley was charged for all of those runs in 1.2 innings while allowing five hits.

David Smith entered and recorded the last out of the inning and then pitched two scoreless to end the game. The Doubleday added on another run in the eighth for safe measure to give the Doubledays their 7-5 win.

The Doubledays will be back in action Friday when they take on the State College Spikes at 7:05. You can hear all the action LIVE on FingerLakes1.com Radio.

By Chris Valentino Tril

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