Difo Drives in Seven; Senators Win 13-10

Difo with four hits including a grand slam

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The Harrisburg Senators erupted for a season-high 13 runs and held off a resilient Bowie team, 13-10, to take the second game of their three-game series. The two teams combined for 30 hits as the offenses had a field day against both pitching staffs.

“I was proud of how they played. They were aggressive on the bases and took advantage of balls in the dirt,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “They got big two-out hits. A lot of good things, we just couldn’t seem to put them away.”

Harrisburg (42-34) tallied a pair of runs in the first inning to take the early lead on a Wilmer Difo double and Drew Ward RBI single. The Senators kept the pressure on Bowie starter David Hess with another two-spot in the second frame. With two outs, Rafael Bautista larruped a run-scoring double and then raced all the way home on an infield single from Andrew Stevenson.

Despite being staked to the 4-0 lead, Harrisburg starter Phillips Valdez allowed Bowie to pull within a run as they plated three runs over the next two innings including a two-run homer to Adrian Marin. The Senators responded as Difo slugged a grand slam on a full count pitch to push the advantage to 8-3. Stephen Perez tacked on another run as he scorched a single up the middle to score Isaac Ballou in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“(Brian) Rupp and Troy (Gingrich) took him out early to work on some stuff that he was able to carry over to the game. He looked really good,” LeCroy said about his shortstop. “That’s a good sign for him and for us. That’s what he’s going to need to do with those two guys in front of him.”

Wilmer Difo became the second Senator in less than a week to drive in seven runs in a game after no Harrisburg player had accomplished that feat in at least the last 11 seasons. (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Wilmer Difo became the second Senator in less than a week to drive in seven runs in a game after no Harrisburg player had accomplished that feat in at least the last 11 seasons. (Will Bentzel / MiLB)

Bowie, however, would not go quietly into that good night as the Baysox got two back off Valdez (2-1) ending his outing in the middle of the sixth. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out five over 5.2 innings.

Andrew Robinson yielded two runs on four hits as the reliever threw 2.1 innings of relief before the Harrisburg offense added a cushion to their lead. The Senators aggressively ran the bases and took advantage of three errors and a wild pitch to score four much-needed insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Bowie would once again make it interesting as they scored three off Nick Lee in the ninth, before Abel De Los Santos was summoned from the pen to stop the bleeding. De Los Santos induced the game-ending strikeout to secure the victory with his fourth save of the season.

Leading the Senators’ 15-hit attack was Wilmer Difo who went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and seven driven in. Difo became the second Senator in less than a week to drive in seven runs in a game after no Harrisburg player had accomplished that feat in at least the last 11 seasons. Shawn Pleffner added three hits while Bautista and Stevenson each scored three runs.

Harrisburg concludes their three-game series with the Baysox in an afternoon matinee slated for 12:00 noon at FNB Field. The Senators will send Greg Ross to the mound looking to extend his scoreless streak that currently stands at 28 innings. All four-legged friends are welcome at the park as the Senators host Wet Nose Wednesday. 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 11:45 a.m.

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