HARTFORD, May 18 – Finally, some great weather to watch baseball. It was 75 degrees on Saturday afternoon and the sky was clear of clouds at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford.
On the field, the Hartford Yard Goats were sharp. Pitcher Ashton Goudeau pitched a perfect game for six innings and Vince Fernandez and Arvicent Perez homered to lead Hartford to a 5-3 Eastern League win over New Hampshire Saturday night, before a capacity crowd of 6,850, the 10th sellout this season at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Goudeau retired the first 18 New Hampshire batters in the game, before giving way to southpaw Chris Rusin, on major league rehabilitation from the Yard Goats’ parent Major League Baseball club — Colorado Rockies. Hartford’s Logan Cozart pitched around a lead-off single in the ninth to collect his second save.
Goudeau (3-2) threw 70 pitches. He struck out five. The right-hander, signed as a minor league free agent by the Rockies in the off season also improved to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 0.36 at home in 25 innings, before turning the game over to Rusin.
New Hampshire’s Forrest Wall greeted Rusin with a double to end the perfect game in the seventh inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly. Kevin Smith added a run-scoring double in the same inning. New Hampshire (19-21) tacked on another run in the eighth off of Rusin, when Wall tripled and Santiago Espinal stroked an RBI-single. Rusin allowed four runs on three hits in two innings.
Hartford (23-19) wasted little time jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, on a two-run, opposite field home run to left by Vince Fernandez, his 11th homer of the year, tying him for the league lead. Fernandez had a homer, single, two RBI and a run scored to lead Hartford’s 10-hit attack. Perez added a homer, single and two runs scored.
Wall’s double, triple and two runs scored topped New Hampshire’s offense.
The Yard Goats try to win the four-game series on Sunday at 1:05 PM. LHP Jack Wynkoop pitches for the Yard Goats against RHP Nate Pearson.