Altoona avoids sweep
HARTFORD, Conn. — Peoples Natural Gas Field advanced to the finals of the best ballpark in Double-A contest for the second straight year, but it appeared as voting wound down late Sunday that the Curve’s home would come up short once again.
PNG Field trailed, 53-47 percent, against the brand new Hodgetown ballpark in Amarillo, Texas, as of 11 p.m. Sunday. Fan voting was scheduled to end at 1 a.m. this morning.
The Curve lost in the ballpark contest finals last year to Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, which is where the club wrapped up a three-game series Sunday afternoon.
Altoona dropped the first two games of the series but salvaged the finale with a 6-1 victory.
The Curve got more good news from a baseball standpoint Sunday as promising pitching prospect Cody Bolton was promoted from high-A Bradenton, according to published reports.
Lefty Sean Brady (3-7) turned in a strong performance for Altoona, holding Hartford to one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out four with two walks. Brady also recorded the first hit of his pro career with a single in the sixth inning.
The Curve gave Brady an early lead with three runs in the third for a 3-1 edge. Jared Oliva ripped a two-run double and scored on a single by Robbie Glendinning.
Altoona added single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the last on a solo homer by Alfredo Reyes.
Oliva, Glendinning and Jerrick Suiter had three hits apiece for the Curve, who pounded out 15 hits on the day.
Jack Wynkoop (5-8) took the loss for the Yard Goats, allowing all 15 hits and six runs — five earned — over eight innings.
Bolton on way
Bolton, a right-hander selected in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, is on his way to Double-A after going 6-3 with a 2.04 ERA in 12 starts for Bradenton. He had 69 strikeouts to 14 walks in 61ª innings for the Marauders.
Key player: LHP Sean Brady gave up just one run and four hits over seven innings for the Curve.
Key play: CF Jared Oliva’s two-run double highlighted a three-run third inning that gave Altoona the lead for good.
Key stat: The Curve had 15 hits, all coming off one pitcher, Hartford starter Jack Wynkoop.
How they scored
Bottom 2nd: Boswell solo homer (0-1).
Top 3rd: Tolman reached on fielder’s choice, Sharpe singled, both scored on Oliva double (2-1); Glendinning single scored Oliva (3-1).
Top 4th: Suiter singled, scored on Brady double play groundout (4-1).
Top 5th: Sharpe walked, scored on Jackson sacrifice fly (5-1).
Top 6th: Reyes solo homer (6-1).
Tonight: Altoona at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
Pitchers: Curve LHP Brandon Waddell (0-0, 2.25) vs. Flying Squirrels RHP Brandon Lawson (2-3, 3.83)
Record: 2-2 (second half); 37-34 (overall)