NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – There has been a power surge at Eastwood Field in the early part of the season for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers as they lead the New York-Penn League in home runs in ten games this year.
“I think it is one of the most fun parts of the game,” said Scrappers outfielder George Valera.
There is no mistaking it when you hear the crack of the bat.
Home runs have been coming early and often for the Scrappers this year — eight in ten games, which is the most in the league.
“It’s pretty good,” Valera said Sunday. “Trying to barrel balls, trying to make my team win, trying to make the fans enjoy the game.”
“Very exciting. We want to do it every time,” said Scrappers first baseman Michael Cooper. “Everyone just cheers for you and the team, and we want to win.”
The team said it’s their approach at the plate that may not always result in home runs, but has helped lead to the power surge.
“The approach is a big thing,” Cooper said. “2-0 counts, hitter counts, fastball counts, make sure you can capitalize on the fastball and that it is a strike.”
“It’s the consistency of the at-bats and the mindset our guys are taking to the plate every single pitch,” said Scrappers Manager Dennis Malave. “The homers and the power will stay there, we just have to make sure we continue to repeat quality swings, aggressive swings in the strike zone.”
The Scrappers hit the road for a three-game road trip that begins Tuesday in State College with first pitch slated for 7:05 p.m.