Walk-Off Win Keyed by Ninth Inning Comeback
The series win was the first for Harrisburg since late July
Down to their last out, the Harrisburg Senators rallied off Altoona closer Montana DuRapau for a stunning 4-3 victory in front of 4,052 fans at FNB Field on Wednesday night. The win marked the first time since July 26 and 27 that Harrisburg (66-63) has won back-to-back games.
Kevin Keyes delivered the game-winning RBI with a single up the middle that scored Andrew Stevenson from third base. Stevenson had previously singled home Shawn Pleffner in the inning to tie the score and set up the late game heroics.
“I thought we’ve matched up with their closer pretty good all year. We’ve put good at-bats against him, but he’s always made pitches. At some point, that luck runs out. Tonight was the night,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “Hopefully this will get some things going for us. I’m proud of how they’ve fought through this rough stretch in August. I hope they relish this moment that they get to play for something.”
The game had started out as a pitcher’s duel as Harrisburg’s Michael Brady and Altoona’s Cody Dickson posted zeroes on the scoreboard until the Senators scored in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Adrian Sanchez singled and Stephen Perez followed with a line drive that ended up down in the left field corner allowing Sanchez to score on the RBI double.
Brady scattered four hits and three walks while striking out five in five scoreless innings of work. Altoona greeted reliever Derek Self in the sixth inning with consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly to tie the score up at one.
The Senators answered in the bottom half as Spencer Kieboom led off the frame with a walk. Sanchez stroked a single that got by right-fielder Stetson Allie to the wall as Kieboom scored all the way from first.
It was a lead that would be short-lived as Altoona took advantage of two walks from reliever Mitch Lively. The Curve made Lively pay for his wildness as pinch-hitter Edwin Espinal laced a double over the outstretched glove of right-fielder Rafael Bautista as both runners scored to give Altoona a 3-2 lead heading into the late innings.
Nick Lee worked a perfect top of the ninth inning to pocket his second win of the season.
“If he throws it over, his stuff is nasty,” LeCroy said. “He’s got a plus breaking ball. His fastball is 93-94 with some angle when he hits on it. When he does that, that’s what people rave about.”
The Senators head to Manchester, N.H. to face the Hartford Yard Goats in a four-game series beginning on Thursday evening at 5:05 p.m. Harrisburg sends Phillips Valdez to the hill to square off against Sam Howard. 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 4:50 p.m.