NILES - On Superhero Night at Eastwood Field, Luis DeJesus displayed his own unique ability: The power to escape any situation.
The Scrappers pitcher scattered five hits in five innings, a time in which which he was forced to utilize every bit of the grit and guile he had.
It was enough to lead the Scrappers to an 11-4 win over the Aberdeen Ironbirds on Thursday night.
In the first inning, DeJesus found himself in a bases-loaded no-out situation, but rather than surrender, he relied on his trusty changeup to strike out Cameron Edman looking.
Then, in order to break from trouble unscathed, DeJesus relied on an ally, Joe Wendle. The third baseman answered the call when he snagged a hot grounder from Joel Hutter and turned an unassisted double play.
"I didn't have my best stuff today, so I had to work with what God gave me," DeJesus said. "I really had to focus on getting the ball down, and I was able to come up with some big double plays."
DeJesus had to escape from trouble with a runner in scoring position in the second, third and fifth innings.
He didn't get through thr third unharmed, because Edman avanged his earlier strikeout with a single that brought home a run.
DeJesus still mustered his strength and got a great play from first baseman Erik Gonzalez, who snagged a smash headed down the right-field line and flipped to his pitcher to end the threat.
"I guess you can say that today I was just a little wildly effective," DeJesus said. "I would throw two balls then throw two strikes, so I think I had them off balance."
The Scrappers got to Ironbirds starter Cameron Coffey in the bottom of the second when Charlie Valerio led off with a single he shot into the left-center field gap.
Joe Sever followed by slapping a single right up the middle. He was chased to third three pitches later when Aaron Siliga ripped a 1-1 fastball down the right-field line to plate Coffey.
Staked to a 1-0 lead, Gonzalez plated Sever when he legged out an infield single that was grounded to shortstop Joel Hutter.
The lead swelled to 3-0 when when Robel Garcia lined a single to left field to chase home Siliga.
Jairo Kelly then hit the big blow of the inning when he lofted a 2-2 fastball to the gape in right-center field to bring home Gonzalez and Garcia.
The five-run inning was just what DeJesus needed.
"I'm glad they did that, because I was kind of nervous because this was the first time my family saw me pitch in over two years," he said. "So, I kind of tried to do too much today, and my hitters calmed me down a bit with the runs they gave me."
The Scrappers broke the game open in the fourth with six-run outburst, which was powered by a bases-loaded triple off the bat of Juan Romero, who looped an opposite-field shot down the right-field line.
Joe Wendle started the inning's scoring when he ran out an infield single that scored Garcia. Valerio drove home Kelly on a sacrifice fly to center field, and Garcia brought home Tyler Naquin when he grounded a single between third base and shortstop.
"We were just on the right end of it tonight," Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak said. "It wasn't a pretty game, it wasn't nice, a lot of things happened, but we hit the ball well."
In the midst of a game that got out of hand on the line score, tempers almost flared into a brawl. In the eighth inning, Ironbirds reliever Alex Schmarzo retired Charlie Valario on a flyball, a play that ended with the two jawing at each other near the middle of the infield. Both benches cleared and the bullpens emptied, but cooler heads prevailed.
"I don't know what happened there," Kubiak said. "Sometimes things just happen like that at this level."