Pat Ludwig has become more consistent on the mound, but Friday night, he wasn't just contributing to his cause there.
He belted a two-run double in the fourth to power the Curve to a 7-3 win over Richmond before 6,250 fans at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
"He helped himself with the two-RBI double," Curve manager Carlos Garcia said. "You don't expect a pitcher to hit, and produce in that regard, but that would be a great contribution for his cause."
The Curve had a runner at third when Flying Squirrels pitcher Ty Blach intentionally walked Jarek Cunningham. Ludwig smacked his first professional hit to right-center field between two outfielders.
"It was pretty exciting," Ludwig said. "We've been taking batting practice every day since I've come back up here, and I finally got a good pitch to hit.
"Swing hard in case you hit, that's what my dad always said."
Tonight: Richmond at Altoona, 6 p.m.
Pitchers: Flying Squirrels LHP Jack Snodgrass (9-4, 3.14) vs. Curve RHP Adrian Sampson (9-5, 2.69)
The fifth provided a scare for the right-hander as the Squirrels had the bases loaded, and Mario Lisson hit a bases-clearing double to left field. Gift Ngoepe came up with the biggest play of the night as he made a solid throw, getting Angel Villalona to end the inning.
"Gift is a gift at shortstop," Garcia said. "That's his natural position, and he will be alert in every situation. He's got to enjoy what's doing right now."
Ludwig turned in a great performance on the mound, going six innings, allowing three runs - two earned - and walked three batters. He is 3-4 since joining the Curve with a 5.63 ERA, and retired the last five Squirrels batters he faced in order.
"He continued to make pitches, and throw a solid six innings," Garcia said.
The Curve scored the game's first four runs, starting with Kelson Brown's RBI-single, scoring Willy Garcia in the third, and capped off by Ludwig's double the next frame.
Richmond responded with their three-run rally in the fifth, but the Curve came right back with a two-run double by Willy Garcia to push the lead back to three.
"Gift comes up with a good back hand strong throw across the diamond, and then we go and put two on the board really quick. That changes the rest of the game from that point," Ludwig said.
Willy added his club leading 16th home run, a solo shot, for insurance in the eighth for the game's final score.
The Curve offense had one of the worst batting averages in the Eastern League to open the season, hitting a disappointing .235. That is a significant difference from their .294 mark in July, and their sixth overall .265.
"Offensively, the approach has been great, especially in the clutch," Carlos Garcia said. "Two run single, two run double by Ludwig, he helped himself.
"The offense has been a lot better the second half of the season, and especially the last two weeks we've been putting it together, moving guys over."
The bats have mustered 99 home runs, which is the second in the league.
Blach (7-6) took the loss and was shelled, giving up six runs on 10 hits, striking out and walking two.
Key Player: LF Willy Garcia went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, two doubles, and a home run.
Key Play: SS Gift Ngoepe's assist on Angel Villalona's groundout in the fifth, ended the Richmond rally in the fifth.
Key Stat: P Pat Ludwig's RBI double in the fifth is his first professional base hit.
How they scored
Bot 3rd: Garcia doubled, scored on Brown single (1-0).
Bot 4th: Diaz doubled, Cunningham intentionally walked, both score on Ludwig double (3-0); Ludwig scored on Ngoepe single (4-0).
Top 5th: Stromsmoe walked, Blach hit by pitch, Tomlinson reached on fielding error, all score on Lisson double (4-3).
Bot 5th: Allie singled, Diaz singled, scored on Garcia double (6-3).
Bot 8th: Garcia homered (7-3).