HARTFORD, June 16 – The bases were loaded and the Hartford Yard Goats had just a two-run lead. But for the second consecutive evening, Hartford reliever Matt Pierpont came through.
Pierpont got Binghamton’s Patrick Mazeika to ground out to end the game and lift the Yard Goats to a 6-4 Eastern League victory over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies before a sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Saturday night.
Pierpont recorded a four-out save to earn his Eastern League-leading 18th save before a capacity crowd of 6,850 fans. On Friday night, Pierpont got Binghamton’s Josh Allen to line out to third base with two runners on base in a 6-3 victory in front of another sellout crowd. The Yard Goats (32-35) have won two straight games and have sold out 19 games so far this season at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Hartford snapped a 1-1 tie with three runs in the sixth inning on a bases loaded walk to Wes Rogers, a ground out by Chris Rabago and an RBI single by Lambert.
After the Rumble Ponies, the Double A affiliate of the New York Mets, cut the lead to 4-3, Nelson Molina slugged a two-run homer in the eighth inning for some insurance for Hartford.
With one out in the ninth inning, however, former University of Florida Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow singled for Binghamton, to start a rally that led to one run and the bases loaded, game-ending ground out.
Pierpont preserved starter Peter Lambert’s sixth win. Lambert (6-2) registered his third straight win, pitching seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. He walked one and struck out six.
The Yard Goats were led by Molina’s home run and single. Brendan Rodgers added two hits.
Josh Allen and Tebow each had two hits for Binghamton (34-33), who have lost five in a row. Starting pitcher Justin Dunn, the Mets first round draft choice in 2016, suffered the loss in his second Double-A start. Dunn once pitched at The Gunnery School in Connecticut, before attending Boston College.
On Friday night, Hartford’s Forrest Wall slugged a home run, double and single to lead the Yard Goats. Wall started the Yard Goats’s four-run fifth inning with an upper deck home run to right. Hartford then strung together doubles by Mylz Jones, Sam Hilliard and Brian Mundell and an RBI single by Dom Nunez, to open a 6-0 lead off of starter Nabil Crismatt, who gave up six runs on 10 hits in five innings.
Wall and Mundell, each had three hits and an RBI to lead the Yard Goats 13-hit attack. Hilliard added a double, single and RBI. Hartford had four doubles in the game.
Binghamton tried to rally in the ninth. They scored twice to cut the lead to three runs. With two outs in the ninth, they had runners at first and third base before Pierpont closed it out. Righthander Jesus Tinoco (5-5) picked up the win, pitching six innings and allowing six hits and striking out three.
The three-game series and homestand wrap up on Sunday afternoon at 5:05 p.m.