Scrappers off to solid start - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Scrappers off to solid start

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NILES, Ohio -

The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are off to one of their best starts.  

At 13 -5 they lead the Pickney Division and have the best record in the New York Penn League.

"We've had a lot of breaks, no doubt about it," said first-year manager Jim Pankovits. "We've played well, got timely hitting and pitching when we've needed it and a couple of guys are having really good starts."

One of those is 19-year-old Tyler Freeman from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's batting over .430 and shows no signs of slowing down. "We're having fun and playing loose and trusting our pitchers. Everything is falling into place," Freeman said.

The Scrappers had their best June finishing 7-1. "We're just piggybacking on the performances by each of our teammates," said second baseman Richie Palacios. "Everything has been very positive, from the coaches on down. The atmosphere has been great."

Right now, nothing seems to phase this club, even when things aren't going so well. "When we get down in a game, we get runs," said first baseman Mitch Reeves. "Pitchers pick the hitters up and we do it with them vice versa," Reeves added.

Freeman knows the formula for moving up in the minors is simple. "Stay focused every day. Don't look at the big picture. Just move on each game, each at-bat," he said.

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