Scrappers Break Out Brooms On Black Bears

By Ty Bartell

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers secured their fourth consecutive win over the West Virginia Black Bears with a 6-4 victory on Friday night in an MLB Draft League matchup.

Scrappers’ 6-foot-11 right-hander Peyton Olejnik took the mound against Matthew Tippie, who made his league debut for the Black Bears. Olejnik dominated the top of the first inning, striking out the side. Tippie matched him in the bottom half with a scoreless frame.

West Virginia struck first in the second inning. Brody Black was hit by a pitch, stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout, and scored on Mauricio Millan's fielder's choice.

The Scrappers were held scoreless until the fifth inning when they faced new pitcher Ryan Sleeper. After Tripp Clark walked, Will Shannon tied the game with an RBI triple to right field. Jared Quandt then brought Shannon home with a fielder's choice, giving Mahoning Valley a 2-1 lead.

Olejnik cruised through five innings before running into trouble in the sixth. After striking out the first two batters, West Virginia rallied with four consecutive two-out hits, scoring three runs to retake the lead at 4-2.

Mahoning Valley responded in the bottom of the sixth. Max Johnson, Jordan Donahue, and Jordan Taylor hit three straight singles to load the bases. Garret Pike’s sacrifice fly scored Johnson, and a double steal brought Donahue home to tie the game at 4-4. Quandt’s RBI single capped the rally, giving the Scrappers a 6-4 lead.

Olejnik finished his outing after six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, walking one, and striking out seven. Boston Mabeus and Darrell Johnson Jr. each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.

Andrew Morones was called upon for the save in the ninth. Despite Roman Kuntz hitting a one-out double to bring the tying run to the plate, Morones retired the next two batters to secure his third save of the season.

With the win, Mahoning Valley (13-14) now prepares to host the league-leading Williamsport Crosscutters (17-7) for a two-game set starting on Saturday, July 6, with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.