Comeback falls short in ninth
Next up: Altoona at Akron, Tuesday, 6:35 p.m.
Radio: WRTA-AM 1240 & 98.5-FM
By Matthew Knaub
For the Mirror
Late-game mistakes cost the Curve on Sunday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Tied 6-6 in the top of the ninth inning, Altoona allowed Harrisburg to load the bases and score two runs, thanks to a throwing error, a hit batsman and a wild pitch. The Curve responded with a run in the bottom of the ninth, but the Senators hung on for the 8-7 win.
With the bases loaded in the ninth, Harrisburg second baseman Osvaldo Duarte hit a sacrifice fly to bring home a run. Shortstop Jackson Cluff scooted home on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to give the Senators the 8-6 lead.
Altoona did not go down quietly in the bottom of the ninth, as center fielder Ji-hwan Bae walked and later came around to score on a wild pitch. However, the Curve stranded the tying run — left fielder Jack Suwinski– on second base.
With the result, the two sides split the six-game series 3-3, and their season series 9-9. Altoona dropped the last three contests of the six-game set to the last-place Senators, allowing eight or more runs in each matchup.
“This is a great lesson for us — don’t underestimate the opponent and don’t get complacent on the series,” Curve manager Miguel Perez said. “It’s a good teaching point for us.”
Player of the game
First baseman Brendt Citta had a strong night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a solo home run, two RBIs and a walk. He finished the contest a triple short of the cycle.
“He’s going to give you good at-bats,” Perez said about Citta. “He’s made big strides, and on the defensive side he’s been awesome too — he’s been working hard and getting better.”
Stats and stuff
Lefty Trey McGough started on the mound for Altoona and pitched five innings. The Johnstown, Pennsylvania native allowed three earned runs on seven hits in a no-decision.
Righty Mario Sanchez started for the Senators and threw just two innings. He allowed no earned runs and one hit in a no-decision.
Righty Bryan Dobzanski was credited with the win for Harrisburg. He pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing one earned run on one hit.
Southpaw Carson Teel was credited with the save, his first of the year. Teel threw 2/3 of an inning, allowing no hits or runs.
Righty Cristofer Melendez was tabbed with the loss for Altoona. Melendez pitched one inning, allowing two earned runs on two hits.
Harrisburg scored early and often on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Senators scored three in the first inning and continued to pile on the runs throughout the game, defeating the Curve 9-3. Harrisburg recorded 12 hits in the matchup.
First baseman K.J. Harrison and shortstop Gilbert Lara both hit solo home runs in the fourth inning for the Senators. Harrison finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk.
Altoona scored a run in the sixth, seventh and eighth, but was unable to mount a comeback. Left fielder David Amaral and second baseman Ji-hwan Bae each hit solo homers in the contest.
Jeffrey Passantino earned the start on the mound for the Curve and was tabbed with the loss. The righty pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on nine hits.
Passantino was opposed by Jackson Tetreault, who was credited with the win. The right-hander tossed six frames, allowing one earned run on four hits.