Ducks’ extra inning homer sinks Senators 4-1

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Knotted up in a 1-1 tie after nine frames, Akron and Harrisburg were both struggling to get anything going offensively. Both teams had scratched out only four hits and neither squad had managed one for the last three innings.

So when designated hitter Eric Haase led off the 10th inning with a single to left field off Senators reliever Derek Self it was as close to a rally as the Rubber Ducks had come for a while. Things got stickier for the Senators when Self walked the next batter on five pitches.

Expecting a bunt from Tyler Krieger, Self pounced on it and cut down the lead runner at third base. Buoyed by the momentum shift, the reliever quickly worked ahead to an 0-2 count on two fastballs down and in to Luigi Rodriguez.

The Akron left fielder didn’t offer at the next pitch, a ball away, and then fouled off a curve ball on a check swing. Catcher Raudy Read set up down and in once again, but the movement on Self’s fastball rode back into the heart of the plate and Rodriguez didn’t miss the mistake. His high arching home run over the bullpen and boardwalk gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead they would turn into victory with a 1-2-3 bottom half of the inning.

“We should have won that game earlier especially when we’re at home,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “But we didn’t get it done offensively. I thought we did pretty good against (Akron starter Luis Lugo) last time, but they did a nice job keeping us at bay.”

***

Starter Derek Eitel continued his mastery over the Ducks. Eitel tossed five stellar innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk while striking out six. On June 14, the 29-year-old right-hander pitched 3.1 perfect innings of relief at Canal Park against Akron.

***

Reliever Brady Dragmire threw three scoreless innings of relief scattering one hit, walking one, and striking out a batter…the lone Harrisburg run came on an opposite field home run off the bat of Yadiel Hernandez, his fifth of the season…Darian Sandford was picked off first base by Akron southpaw Luis Lugo for his sixth caught stealing in 16 attempts.

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