NILES - The Mahoning Valley Scrappers had a fourth of July celebration in mind, but a rain delay and the Aberdeen Ironbirds ruined their best-laid plans.
The Scrappers had retired 13 of 14 Aberdeen batters, and the game was tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth inning when a 1 hour, 36-minute rain delay halted play.
When the game resumed, all momentum Mahoning Valley had dissipated as relief pitcher Rafael Homblert surrendered two runs with a walk, an error and two wild pitches as Aberdeen won 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Homblert entered the game in relief of Jack Wagoner with a 2-0 count on leadoff batter Torsten Boss in the ninth. Homblert proceeded to walk him, then Joel Hutter reached attempting to bunt and Homblert committed an error on Doug Bream's attempted sacrifice bunt to load the bases.
Anthony Vega singled to score Boss and two wild pitches brought home Bream for the insurance run.
After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the second, the Scrappers tied the game in the third as Erik Gonzalez singled with no outs and advanced to third as Ironbirds catcher Pedro Perez threw wildly attempting to pick him off first base.
Jairo Kelly then doubled to plate Gonzalez against Abderdeen starter Juan Guzman.
Mahoning Valley starter Jake Sisco allowed one run and five hits in five innings, while Guzman allowed the one run (which was unearned) and seven hits in six innings. He struck out four with no walks and threw 93 pitches.