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Curve make quick work — literally — of Senators

Next stop

Tonight: Altoona at Akron, 7:05 p.m.

Pitchers: Curve RHP Carmen Mlodzinski vs. Ducks RHP Hunter Gaddis

Record: 4-2

Radio: WRTA-AM 1240 & 98.5-FM

By Cory Giger

sports@altoonamirror.com

The Curve had such a good and fast game on the field Sunday that it made for quite an unusual situation off the field.

Altoona beat Harrisburg, 7-3, in only 1 hour and 57 minutes before a huge crowd of 8,344 at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The game started at 6 p.m. and was done before 8, which in just about every other circumstance would be welcomed by all involved.

But not when the biggest postgame fireworks show of the year was scheduled for after the game, and wouldn’t start until 9:15 once it got dark.

The Curve made the most of the situation, providing postgame entertainment including a singer, and the fans didn’t seem to mind too much as they went about their business waiting around. Some fans left, but the vast majority hung around to enjoy the July 3 fireworks show.

Fast start

The Curve scored five runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Connor Scott, and cruised after that.

Did the big crowd help with the fast start?

“Honestly, if it was 500 people, these guys, their goal was to go out and win the series today,” manager Kieran Mattison said. “They wanted to go out and put up good at-bats and get off to a good start and keep the momentum as the game went on. But the crowd helps.”

Sunday’s 8,344 turnout was the largest of the season.

“I love it,” Mattison said. “It’s fun when we have a packed house … and I thought, man, this is pretty cool. We’ve had a good homestand as far as crowd attendance, and we appreciate it because it’s a really, really talented team.”

Stats and stuff

Jeff Passantino (1-0) got the win in relief, giving up one run in 3 1/3 innings. Starter Luis Ortiz allowed two runs in four innings. Tahnaj Thomas finished it off for his first save.

Scott hit his second homer of the season, and Aaron Shackelford went 2-for-4. The Curve scored their other two runs in the fourth inning, including an RBI double from Jared Triolo.

SUBHD: Good week

The Curve went 4-2 during their first series of the second half, after finishing 33-36 in the first half. They lost Saturday’s game, 6-0, but bounced back quickly with the big first inning Sunday.

“I saw a lot of things that we set out to do, a lot of small goals as a unit and as individuals going into the series, we were able to accomplish them,” Mattison said. “The preparation was really, really good throughout the week, and guys are starting to play more together, and you’re starting to see a group jell in the clubhouse, as well, throughout the day.

“Off to a good start in the second half.”

SUBHD: Playing today

The Curve are always off on Mondays, but that will change today because of the Fourth of July holiday. They will play at Akron this evening, giving the RubberDucks a chance to have a holiday fireworks show, then the two teams will be off Tuesday before resuming the series Wednesday.

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