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Home run in ninth inning lifts Harrisburg past Yard Goats, 3-2

Pitcher Rico Garcia, shown during a simulated game last week in Hartford made his first Eastern League start of the season, striking out seven in four innings of work.

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 8 – For the second straight game, the only runs for the Hartford Yard Goats came with a home run.

Tyler Nevin hit his first Eastern League home run Monday night but it wasn’t enough as the Yard Goats lost for the fourth time in five games with a 3-2 loss to the Harrisburg Senators at FNB Field. Nevin’s two-run home run came in the seventh inning.

In the ninth inning, Harrisburg shortstop Luis Garcia ripped a two-out, line drive single off the center field fence that scored pitcher James Bourque from second base for the walk-off victory.

Rico Garcia got the start on the mound for Hartford (1-4) and pitched well over four innings, striking out seven and allowing just two hits. The Yard Goats struck out 11 Harrisburg batters in the game.

This was the first game of a three-game series in Harrisburg for the Yard Goats, who went 1-3 with four games in Richmond over the weekend. Hartford opens the season at home at Dunkin Donuts Park on Thursday against New Hampshire.

Harrisburg scored the first run of the game on a solo home run off Rhett Wiseman in the second inning off Garcia, giving the Washington Nationals affiliate a 1-0 lead.  It was the first of two homers on the night for Wiseman and it sailed over the right field fence and into the bullpen.

Senators starting pitcher Tyler Mapes allowed a leadoff single to Hartford’s Manny Melandez, and then retired the next 11 batters faced in four scoreless innings.  Reliever Jordan Mills continued the magic and stretched the streak to 16 in a row before surrendering a two out walk to Scott Burcham in the sixth.  Harrisburg pitching allowed just hit over the first six innings of the game.

Harrisburg (4-1) added a second run as Wiseman connected on his second solo homer of the game off Yard Goats’ reliever Alexander Guillen in the sixth inning to make it 2-0.

The Yard Goats tied the game in the seventh inning on a two-run homer by Nevin.  After managing only one hit over the first six innings, Hartford’s Bret Boswell singled in the seventh.  Nevin smashed a two-run homer off reliever Ronald Pena into the left field seats to tie the game at 2-2.

In the ninth inning, Hartford reliever Reid Humphreys walked Harrisburg pitcher James Bourque and Zach Collier reached on a bunt single putting runners at first and second with one out.  After Humphreys recorded the second out, Luis Garcia ripped a shot over the head of center fielder Manny Melendez and Bourque scored the game-winning run.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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