Curve Shut Out, West Virginia Powers Up

Harrisburg Senators 7, �Altoona Curve 0 (box)

It was a tough afternoon in Altoona on Wednesday, as the Curve were held to just 3 hits in this shutout. �1B Matt Hague, RF Miles Durham, and LF Alex Presley were the only Curve batters to get hits, and all three were singles. �SS Chase d’Arnaud and Hague also reached base on walks. �The singles came in the 2nd (Durham), 4th (Hague), and 5th (Presley) innings, and all three runners were left on base when the innings ended. �D’Arnaud walked to lead off the 6th inning, but was erased in a double play. �Hague walked in the 7th, and he was also eliminated in a double play. �The Curve never had a base runner reach second base, nor did they ever have more than one runner on base in any one inning.

Curve starter Justin Wilson pitched 5 scoreless innings to begin his outing. �He allowed only one batter over the minimum in the first three innings (a walk). �Another batter who walked to open the 4th inning was picked off base. �Wilson gave up two singles in the 4th, but left them stranded. �The Senators finally scored against Wilson in the 6th inning, on a hit batter, a stolen base, and an RBI double. �Wilson went 6 innings total, allowing that one run on 3 hits, with 6 strikeouts, but without run support, his strong outing turned into a loss.

Things fell apart for reliever Corey Hamman, who took over to begin the 7th inning. �It began with a walk and a 2-run homer. �Hamman got the next two batters to strike out, but a wild pitch on strike three put the second of those on base. �After another walk, a 3-run homer gave Harrisburg a 6-0 lead. �Mike Dubee relieved Hamman to finish the inning, then pitched a scoreless 8th. �Danny Moskos pitched the 9th inning, and gave up one more run on a double and a single. �A hit batter and another single had a Harrisburg batter rounding third and heading for the plate, but RF Durham and 2B Josh Harrison got the ball right on target to C Hector Gimenez, who�tagged the runner out at the plate.

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Shutout Innings: Baker 6, Hankins 5

Some nice shutout pitching (at least for a few innings) on Saturday evening:

Altoona Curve �9, � Harrisburg Senators �2 (box)

Starter Derek Hankins pitched 5 shutout innings in his start in Harrisburg. �He scattered two doubles and two walks over those 5 innings, and struck out 2 batters. �Tony Watson relieved Hankins to begin the 6th inning, and he also kept the Senators scoreless for the next two innings. �Watson got into some trouble in the 8th, though, giving up a double, a walk, and a single to the first three batters of the inning, loading the bases. �Watson got the next batter to strike out, but then was replaced by Jeff Sues. Sues gave up a sacrifice fly, and then a single, both scoring one run. �Those runs were charged to Watson. �Sues finished the 8th inning with a ground out. �He got two ground outs in the 9th, allowed a walk, then struck out the last batter of the game.

Meanwhile, the Curve batters were busy piling up 15 hits and 9 runs. �LF Alex Presley, who is hitting .471 over his last 10 games and is 8-for-15 in his last 3 games, led the charge by going 4-for-5 tonight, all singles, for 3 RBI. �C Hector Gimenez had 2 doubles and a single, and both 1B Matt Hague and 2B Josh Harrison had two singles each. �Each position player in the starting lineup had at least one hit. �The scoring started slowly, with one run in the 2nd inning. �RF Miles Durham tripled with two outs, then scored on Presley’s first single. �They added two more runs in the 4th, when singles by Hague and Harrison, along with a missed catch error on a pick-off attempt, put runners on the corners. �A balk scored Hague, and Presley’s second single scored Harrison. �Presley was out at second as he tried to stretch it into a double.

The Senators tried changing pitchers to begin the 6th inning, but it didn’t help them. �3B Jordy Mercer led off with a single and moved to second base on a wild pitch. �Matt Hague’s single scored Mercer. �A walk to Durham and Presley’s third single scored Hague with another run. �Gimenez’s double brought in Durham and Presley, and gave the Curve a 7-0 lead. �Walks to pinch-hitter Jim Negrych and CF Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases, but a fly out ended the inning and left the three runners stranded.

A double by SS Chase d’Arnaud and an RBI single by Hernandez made it 8-0 in the top of the 8th. �The Senators scored twice in the bottom of the frame, but by then it was too little too late. �The Curve added one more for good measure in the top of the 9th. �With two outs, Durham walked, and Presley beat out a grounder to short for his fourth hit. �Gimenez’s second double brought in Durham with the Curve’s 9th run.

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15 Hits For The Curve And 16 Hits For The Marauders

A late morning game, and an evening game on Wednesday…. the West Virginia Power have a scheduled day off

Altoona Curve 10, �Akron Aeros 2 (box)

The Curve tied their season-high with 15 hits on the way to 10 runs, to sweep a shortened 2-game series with the Aeros, and finish this homestand with a 3-3 record.

The two teams exchanged a run in the 1st inning. �Curve starter Rudy Owens opened the game by giving up a single, then hitting the next batter with a pitch. �A grounder to short moved the lead runner to third, but the Curve couldn’t get ball to first fast enough for the double play. �A single into left field scored the runner from third, and Akron had the first run of the game. �In the bottom of the inning, DH Jim Negrych singled into left, then 3B Jordy Mercer grounded into a force out at second, but he also beat out the relay to first to avoid the double play. �A wild pitch put Mercer into scoring position on second base, and from there he scored easily on RF Miles Durham’s line drive into right field, tying the score at 1-1.

Owens held the Aeros scoreless over the next two innings, while his teammates got him some run support. �SS Chase d’Arnaud led off the 3rd with a single blooped into center field. �Negrych followed with a smash past the diving Akron center fielder, which brought in d’Arnaud and put Negrych on third with a triple. �Mercer brought in Negrych with an oops swing that dribbled the ball into the middle of the infield and out of everyone’s reach. �Two more singles, by Durham and CF Alex Presley loaded the bases, but all were left on base when the inning ended. �Curve up, 3-1.

Akron got a little closer in the top of the 4th. �Owens gave up a double and a single to the first two batters of the inning, and a grounder to third allowed the lead runner to score. �A double play ended that frame, with the Aeros within one run of the Curve. �That was all the scoring the Aeros would do, though. �Owens retired the side in order in both the 5th and 6th innings, and finished his day with 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk, plus 2 strikeouts over 6 innings.

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Sanchez and Holt Lead Marauders in Rout; Power Win Home Opener

Bradenton Marauders 14, �St. Lucie 5 (box)

The Marauders posted 14 hits and 14 runs on their way to an overwhelming victory of the St. Lucie Mets in Bradenton on Friday night. �SS Brock Holt, who joined the team late out of spring training due to injury, celebrated his first game of the 2010 season by going 3-for-5 with a double and 4 RBI. �DH Tony Sanchez went 3-for-4, and had a single, a double, and a homer, plus 3 RBI. �LF Quincy Latimore had “only” 2 hits, but his grand slam gave him 4 RBI. �Only 1B Calvin Anderson had a tough night, as he went hitless and committed 3 fielding errors at first base.

After a quiet 1st inning, Tony Sanchez and Quincy Latimore got the party started in the bottom of the 2nd with back-to-back singles. �Two outs later, C Eric Fryer singled, scoring Sanchez. �2B Greg Picart walked to load the bases, and Brock Holt picked up his first two RBI with a line drive single into center. � Three doubles, by CF Starling Marte, Sanchez, and 3B Jeremy Farrell added two more runs in the 3rd inning. �In the 4th, RF Robbie Grossman singled, stole second, and stole third. �A walk to Marte and Sanchez being hit by a pitch loaded the bases for Latimore. �His grand slam gave the Marauders a 9-1 lead.

A St. Lucie fielding error and singles by Holt and Marte (RBI) contributed one run in the 5th inning. �Then Bradenton added 4 more runs in the 7th. �Fryer led off with a double, Picart reached base on a fielding error, and Holt doubled both of them in. �Sanchez’s 2-run homer capped the night for the Marauders.

Aaron Pribanic made the start for Bradenton. �He sailed through the first two innings, and Calvin Anderson’s first fielding error was no big deal. �In the 3rd inning, a single, a double, and a passed ball by Eric Fryer gave the Mets one unearned run. �Anderson made another error in the 4th inning, but a double play eliminated that problem. �In the 5th inning with one out, Pribanic gave up a double and a 2-run homer, and he was relieved by Tyler Cox. Cox finished the 5th with a strikeout, then retired the next six batters he faced, including 3 more strikeouts. �That earned him his 3rd win of the season. �Diego Moreno gave up a lone single in the scoreless 8th inning. �Noah Krol took the mound for the 9th, when St. Lucie made a last desperate effort to catch up. �Krol gave up a walk and a double to begin the inning. �With two outs, a wild pitch let the runner from third base score and the runner from second move up to third. �Anderson’s third fielding error allowed the next run to score, though it clearly did not make much difference in the outcome. �A ground out ended the game.

With Holt joining the team, a roster spot needed to be opened up. �INF Gift Ngoepe was reassigned to State College to make room, which means he will return to extended spring training right there in Bradenton.

West Virginia Power 5, �Asheville Tourists �4 (box)

The Power celebrated their home opener with a win over the Tourists, as DH Kyle Morgan’s single in the bottom of the 7th inning brought the go-ahead run across the plate. �The Tourists scored in the top of the 1st inning, with a double, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly off Power starter Quentin Miller. Miller pitched only one inning — not sure why he was pulled.

The Power bats came to life in the bottom of the 2nd, when LF Rogelios Noris hit a two-out single, and 3B Jesus Brito got the first of three hits in the game, an RBI triple. �RF Wes Freeman walked, and a passed ball let Freeman get to second base, but it wasn’t far enough away from the plate to let Brito score from third. �The Power added another run in the 3rd, when SS Benji Gonzalez led off with a walk, and 2B Jarek Cunningham doubled him over to third base. �This time when the Asheville catcher missed for another passed ball, Gonzalez was able to score from third. �1B Aaron Baker grounded to second, but a quick throw to the plate cut down Cunningham as he tried to score. �Gonzalez and Cunningham both singled again in the 5th, and a wild pitch had Gonzalez standing on third base again. �This time Baker was able to pick up the RBI with a sacrifice fly.

Brito, who had also singled in the 4th inning, made it 3-for-3 with a single in the 6th inning, following Noris’ lead-off double. �Another fielder’s choice on a grounder by C Josue Peley brought in Noris to give the Power a 4-1 lead. �Another scoring opportunity was missed, though, when Brito was out at the plate in a double steal attempt.

Jason Erickson had taken over for Miller in the 2nd inning. �Erickson scattered 3 hits over 4 scoreless innings, striking out 2 batters. �Marc Baca retired the Tourists in order in the 6th, but got into trouble in the 7th. �The inning began with a ground-rule double, a “regular” double, and another ground-rule double, and the Tourists were within one run of the Power, 4-3. �A walk and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third bases. �An RBI ground out to short brought in the tying run, and gave Baca a Blown Save. �A hit batter and a stolen base made it runners on first and second. �A long fly ball to the alley in right-center could have meant another two runs, but an amazing diving catch by CF Evan Chambers ended the rally.

That Blown Save turned in to a win in the bottom of the 7th. �Baca was still the pitcher of record when�Chambers was hit by a pitch. �Aaron Baker bounced a ground-rule double over the right field wall, moving Chambers to third base. �Then Kyle Morgan’s single up the middle drove in Chambers with the go-ahead run. �Baker also tried to score from second base, but was out at the plate on the throw in from center field. �The one run was enough, though. �Melkin Laureano gave up a walk in the top of the 8th, but did not allow a run to score. �Zachary Foster got four outs in the top of the 9th to earn his first Save. �He struck out three batters in a row, but strike three on the third batter was a wild pitch, allowing the batter to reach first base. �Jarek Cunningham made a diving catch of a pop fly behind second base to end the game.

Altoona Curve rained out

The Altoona Curve and Erie SeaWolves were rained out in Erie, PA on Friday night. �That game will be made up as part of a double header on May 22nd. �The two teams will play their regularly scheduled (single) game on Saturday, beginning at 1 pm.

NOTES:

Former Pirate farmhand Danny Bomback has signed a contract with the Pittsfield Colonials of the (independent) Can-Am League.

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Harrison Is Curve Hero In The 14th; Latimore Leads Bradenton

Altoona Curve 1, �Richmond Flying Squirrels �0 (box)

2B Josh Harrison was the hero for the Curve tonight, when his walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning brought in 3B Jordy Mercer with the winning run. �Mercer had led off the bottom of the 14th by reaching on a fielding error at third. �A wild pitch allowed Mercer to move to third base, and C Kris Watts’ ground out to second advanced Mercer to third. �That put him in position to score on Harrison’s grounder through the hole into left field. �The Curve were almost out of players in the middle of the 14th. �Pitcher Derek Hankins started batting for himself in the 14th, but was hit on the helmet by his own foul tip, and only tomorrow’s starter Jared Hughes was available to pinch-hit.

Mike Crotta pitched 7 shut-out and one-hit innings for the Curve, dropping his ERA to 0.69. �He struck out 4 batters and walked none. �Crotta retired the first 16 batters he faced, and carried a no-hitter into the 6th inning, when he gave up a lone single. �He retired 5 more batters after that single, before hitting the showers. �Danny Moskos contributed 2 shut-out innings to the Curve effort. �He walked the first batter he faced, and gave up a single to the next one — one of only two times in the 14 innings when Richmond had two runners on base at the same time. �Moskos shut down the threat by retiring the next three batters, along with the 3 he faced in the 9th inning. �Ronald Uviedo took the mound for the 10th and 11th innings. �He gave up a walk, and got one grounder for a force out, and struck out the other 5 batters he faced, including striking out the side in the 11th.

Derek Hankins came on for the 12th inning. �He gave up a lone double in that inning, but left that runner on second base. �He walked a batter in the 13th, but also stranded him. �In the 14th, Richmond again put two runners on base, with a walk and a single, but Hankins got a ground out to end the threat. �Hankins was the pitcher of record in the 14th and he was credited with the win.

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