Pleffner in a Pinch Tops the Flying Squirrels Redux
John Simms and Robert Benincasa craft four scoreless innings of relief
For the second night in a row, Shawn Pleffner delivered the go-ahead RBI pinch-hitting as the Harrisburg Senators topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 2-1, in front of 5,094 fans at FNB Field. The Senators managed only four hits in the victory which elevated them to a 54-44 record atop the Western Division standings.
The two teams traded paint in the second inning as both Richmond and Harrisburg pushed a run across in the frame. The Senators got on the board after Neftali Soto doubled, advanced to third on a fly ball from Drew Ward, and scored on a sac fly off the bat of Isaac Ballou.
The game remained knotted at 1-1 until Pleffner was called on to bat in the pitcher’s spot in the seventh inning. Pleffner’s single drove in the go ahead run as Ballou slid around the tag at home.
Boone Whiting was activated off the disabled list to make the start for Harrisburg throwing five solid innings. Whiting scattered four hits and walked three while striking out a batter, but failed to factor in the decision. “He was up, you can tell he was a little bit off. He lived on the edge, but they kept swinging at it and popping it up,” manager Matt LeCroy said.
John Simms (7-4) tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts to earn the victory.”I think he’s figured out his tempo. He’s picked his tempo up and that has made him better,” LeCroy said. “It has made him a little more of an uncomfortable at-bat.”
Robert Benincasa worked a scoreless eighth and ninth inning to pocket his second save of the season as the right-hander stranded the tying run at third base to end the game.
Harrisburg and Richmond continue their four-game set on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. as the Senators send Tyler Mapes to the hill looking for his 10th win of the season. It’s Star Wars Night at the ballpark and the team will wear special themed Wookie jerseys that will auctioned off after the game benefiting the Special Olympics Area M. 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 5:45 p.m.