The Mansfield Destroyers have been on a tear during the last week. The Destroyers have won four of their last seven games and have scored 56 total runs in that time.
The Destroyers’ recent hot streak began Wednesday, June 26 at home. After falling to the Syracuse Spartans in the first half of a home double header, the Destroyers came back to win the second game 4-2.
Mansfield took an early lead, scoring one run in each of the first two innings. Syracuse closed the gap when they got on the board in the fourth with one run, but Mansfield responded swiftly with an additional two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Eric Feliz and Andrew Walker each had an RBI in the win for Mansfield.
The next day the Destroyers traveled to Hornell and had to engineer a comeback victory against the Dodgers. Hornell jumped ahead in the first inning by plating four runs, including a two-run blast by Kevin Higgins.
Following Higgins’ blast, Mason Vaughn struck out the next two batters and Mansfield escaped the inning without taking any more damage.
Slowly, the Destroyers worked their way back into the game. Vaughn allowed one more run in the second, but then, held Hornell scoreless for the next four innings.
Although they had chipped away at the Dodgers lead, Mansfield still trailed 5-4 going into the ninth inning. With the first at bat of the ninth, centerfielder Colton Evans popped out to right. Walker stepped up to the plate after Evans and earned a walk. Blake Murray followed Walker to first after being hit by a pitch to put the go-ahead run on first.
Sayre native, Matt Williams, stepped into the left-handed batters box and swung at the first pitch from relief pitcher JP Nolan. The ball sailed left into the waiting glove of Hornell’s Josh Laurie in left field for the second out of the inning.
Mansfield was down to their final out, when Tyler Melko took to the plate. Melko jumped on the first pitch he saw and smashed a double to left field, plating Walker and tying the game.
Number 33, John Wheeler gave the Destroyers their first lead of the evening when he followed Melko at the plate with a single, scoring both Murray and Melko.
Brandon Lingenfelter took the mound in the bottom half of the ninth and closed out the game for the Destroyers earning the save.
After the comeback win, the Destroyers allowed 10 runs Friday night in Olean and fell 10-7.
The Destroyers rebounded from the loss with double-digit wins Sunday and Monday. Against Genesee, the Destroyers scored 10 runs for their 12th win of the season.
In a double header against Sherrill, the Destroyers put up 16 runs in the first game before falling 11-8 in the second game.
With a 13-12-1 record entering Tuesday night’s home game against Olean the Destroyers were second in the Western division behind only Niagara power.
At the time of writing, Mansfield first baseman Melko was leading the Western division with 20 RBIs. Closely behind were teammates Williams (16) and Feliz (13).
From the mound Mansfield’s Kyle Smith was tied with Niagara’s Max Alers for the most wins with three. In addition to Smith, the Destroyers Brendan Quigley was leading the division with a 1.71 ERA and was second in strikeouts with 24.
The results from this week’s Destroyers games will be in next week’s paper.