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Cutters hold team meeting after bad loss
July 2, 2012 - Mitch Rupert
By MITCH RUPERT
The applause and cheers from the more than 1,500 fans in attendance was drenched in sarcasm. Andre Kinder was struggling to get the baseball anywhere near home plate, and when he finally threw his 11th pitch for a strike, the cheers from the crowd at Bowman Field were anything but heartfelt.
But it wasn’t just Kinder who struggled in Monday’s 12-6 loss to Mahoning Valley, starting pitcher Delvin Perez allowed five first-inning runs and six total in 3 2/3 innings. Matt Sisto, after two brilliant innings, gave up three more in the ninth as Williamsport was trying to mount a comeback.
It all added up to Williamsport suffering its third consecutive loss. The Crosscutters also fell under .500 for the first time this season at 7-8. And to add insult to injury, the Cutters’ leading hitter, Mitch Walding, left the game after being hit by a pitch on the right elbow in the fourth inning. Walding was in the clubhouse after the game, but his status was unavailable.
Williamsport manager Andy Tracy held a team meeting following the game.
“It was just a tough game. Go out there and you’re down 5-0 before you even get a chance to bat. It was a tough first inning,” said Cutters designated hitters Cameron Perkins, who drove in three runs. “We put it together for a couple innings with some good at-bats, good pitching and defense. You know games like that are going to happen.”
Three Williamsport pitchers – Perez, Kinder and Sisto – combined for just three 1-2-3 innings, and two of those were by Sisto in the seventh and eighth innings. When the Cutters cut Mahoning Valley’s early lead to 8-5, the Scrappers answered right back with a run in the sixth on a Charlie Valerio sacrifice fly.
The Cutters again cut the deficit to just three with a Perkins sacrifice fly only to watch the Scrappers hit four consecutive singles to start the ninth and score three runs in the inning.
“It’s frustrating as a team, but hat’s off to them because they’re not going out there looking to not score runs,” Perkins said. “It’s the same as we’re trying to cut the lead except they’re trying to extend it. They played the game better than we did today.”
Williamsport made a rally, trailing 8-1, in the bottom of the fifth inning, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring four times. Chris Serritella (3-for-5, 2 RBIs) doubled to the right-center field gap on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the inning to drive in Tyler Greene and Chace Numata.
After a walk to Trey Ford, who replaced Walding, Perkins hit a fly ball to left field off the end of the bat and it fell in front of a diving Aaron Siliga to score Serritella. With Ford coming hard around third, manager Andy Tracy put up the stop sign when Scrappers center fielder Tyler Naquin picked up the loose ball. Naquin, a first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in last month’s draft, was said to have the strongest outfield arm in the entire draft.
Larry Greene grounded out to second base to end the inning with runners on second and third.
“We had people with some good at-bats,” Perkins said. “Serritella swung it well, and so did (Brian) Pointer. Hopefully that can carry into tomorrow.”
Mahoning Valley put Williamsport in a deficit early when the first four batters of the game reached base. Joe Wendle, a West Chester product who is hitting .400, doubles to left-center field to score Jairo Kelly and Naquin to give the Scrappers a 2-0 lead in the first.
Joe Sever added an RBI groundout and Valerio came around to score on a throwing error on a comebacker to Perez. Frazar eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.
The Scrappers added three more runs in the fourth, all with two outs. Perez got two quick outs before walking Naquin in a nine-pitch at-bat. Kinder, a side-arming left-hander, threw eight consecutive balls to load the bases. He worked a full count on Sever before the five-hole hitter line a two-run single back through the middle. Aaron Siliga followed with an infield single to score Valerio.
“They played well and they hit the ball,” Perkins said. “But we made some mistakes and helped them out. You have to learn from it. Whether you win or lose, you have to learn from it.”
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