Senators Sink the RubberDucks 11-2
The Harrisburg Senators scored in six of their eight half-innings on their way to an 11-2 rout of the Akron RuberDucks. Akron left 12 men on base including two bases loaded situations on their way to their seventh straight loss.
“Any time you’re hitting the ball from line to line with that type of contact is good,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “We had some situational success early and it gave us a little bit of a cushion.”
Harrisburg (32-28) scored early and often to take a commanding lead on the Ducks and starting pitcher Shawn Morimando. Isaac Ballou plated Wilmer Difo from third base with a sacrifice fly in the first inning to give the Senators a 1-0 advantage. Situationally hitting, Ballou once again delivered with an RBI groundout in the third. Neftali Soto followed with a single up the middle to score Rafael Bautitsta.
Ballou credits the pre-game drills for his success in those situations. “It really goes into the work we do with (hitting coach Brian) Rupp and skip before BP. We honestly do that every day. Infield in, infield back,” the outfielder said. “You get up there with a runner on third and less than two outs, it’s pretty easy – just make sure you put the ball in play and do your job.”
John Simms made the spot start for Harrisburg before running into trouble into the fourth inning after 65 pitches. Michael Brady relieved and worked out of the jams the next two frames while allowing only one run to score. Brady (1-0) picked up the win scattering three hits over 2.1 innings of work while striking out two.
“Any time you have the bullpen day, sometimes you push it too much. In our case I might have left Simmsy out there a little bit too long, maybe I asked a little too much,” LeCroy said.
The Senators posted four multi-run innings as part of their 14-hit attack. Soto and Chris Bostick both hit home runs on their way to each driving in three runs. Cutter Dykstra delivered a big two-run double in the fourth when the outcome was still in question and Ballou also plated three on a 2-for-3 night at the plate.
“With Belisle here, it put some guys behind the 8-ball as far as getting innings and getting ups,” LeCroy said. “I think you saw with Suero he was strong, his command wasn’t as good. Overall, once we got that extra insurance was something we really needed.”
The Senators and RubberDucks continue their four-game series on Sunday afternoon at a special time of 3:30 p.m. Right-hander Phillips Valdez will make his Class AA debut for Harrisburg against Akron’s Michael Peoples. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 3:15 p.m.