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Strong pitching helps Yard Goats take two of three from Harrisburg

Yard Goats reliever Matt Pierpont pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday morning to earn his first win of the season and help Hartford beat Harrisburg, 3-2.

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 2 – Two sacrifice flies by Bobby Wernes and stellar pitching by Peter Lambert and Matt Pierpont enabled the Hartford Yard Goats to beat the Harrisburg Senators, 3-2, in Eastern League plays Wednesday morning and win the three-game series from the Washington Nationals’ affiliate

Sam Hilliard added two hits and two runs scored for the Yard Goats, who went 3-3 on their recent six-game road trip to Harrisburg and Richmond.

The Yard Goats (13-12) return to Dunkin’ Donuts Park on Thursday night to open up a seven-game homestand. They face the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Lambert, the Colorado Rockies second round draft choice in 2015, matched his longest outing of the season, throwing seven innings of two-run baseball against Harrisburg.  He allowed six hits, struck out a season-high eight batters and didn’t allow a walk.

Pierpont, who leads the Eastern League in saves with seven, notched his first win of the year with two scoreless innings of relief.  After yielding a lead-off single, he retired six in a row, including three on strikeouts.

Hartford took the lead in the top of the ninth inning. Hilliard doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt from Mylz Jones and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field from Wernes to giave the Yard Goats the 3-2 lead.

Hartford took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a two-out single by Omar Carrizales and a double to left center field by Chris Rabago.  The Yard Goats made it 2-0 in the seventh inning on Hilliard’s single, a double by Jones and the first of two sacrifice flies by Wernes.

Harrisburg (10-14) received outstanding pitching from starter Wirkin Estevez, who gave up just two runs on five hits in seven innings.  They tied it in their half of the seventh on a home run by Yadiel Hernandez, the third time in three games he has homered in the seventh inning against Hartford.  A run-scoring double by Kelvin Gutierrez later in the inning scored Drew Ward to game at 2-2.

Hartford 3, Harrisburg 2
At Harrisburg
Hartford (13-12)            010  000  101 – 3-6-1
Harrisburg (10-14)        000  002  000 – 2-7-0
Lambert, Pierpont (8) and Rabago; Estevez, Williams (8) and Gushue; WP: Pierpont (1-0); LP: Williams (0-1); 2B: Rabago (Hart), Jones (Hart), Hilliard (Hart), Gueterrez (Harris); HR: Hernandez (Harris)

Senators 5, Yard Goats 3
On Tuesday, Dan Gamache and Yadiel Hernandez each had home runs to lead Harrisburg to a 5-3 win over the Yard Goats. It was the first win for the Senators over Hartford in five games this season.

Wes Rogers had a home run for the Yard Goats but Harrisburg starting pitcher Luis Reyes limited Hartford to just one run and four hits in six innings of work to pick up his second win of the year.

Pitching one day after his 23rd birthday, Yard Goats starter Jesus Tinoco allowed the first three batters to reach base for Harrisburg.  Daniel Johnson opened the first inning with a double.  Following a walk to Hernandez, Gamache unloaded with a three-run home run to right, his first of the year and a 3-0 lead.  Tinoco then settled down and retired 10 straight batters.

Hartford got a run back in the fourth inning on an RBI-single by Brendan Rodgers, scoring Dom Nunez, who reached on a lead off walk.  However, Reyes was able to escape two jams in the fourth and sixth innings by inducing double play ground balls.

The Yard Goats scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings on an RBI-double by Nunez and Rogers’ home run to left field but it wasn’t enough.  Yonathan Daza added two hits for Hartford.

Harrisburg 5, Hartford 3
At Harrisburg
Hartford (12-12)           000  100  011 – 3-8-1
Harrisburg (10-13)      300  000  20x – 5-8-1
Tinoco, Griggs (8) and Nunez; Reyes, Fleck (8), Mendez (9) and Gushue; WP: Reyes (2-2), LP: Tinoco (3-2); H: Fleck (1); Save: Mendez (1)

Yard Goats 10, Senators 6
In the opening game of the series on Monday night, Brendan Rodgers, Brian Mundell and Garrett Hampson homered, and Dom Nunez collected three hits to lift the Hartford Yard Goats to a 10-6 victory. Every player in Hartford’s starting lineup collected at least one hit to pace a 14-hit attack.

Hartford pitchers struck out 15 batters, led by winning pitcher Ryan Castellani, who struck out a season-high eight and allowed one run over five innings on three hits.

Hartford 10, Harrisburg 6
At Harrisburg
Hartford (12-11)           020  600  200 — 10-14-1
Harrisburg (9-13)         001  000  320  — 6-10-1
Castellani, Schlitter (6), Garcia (8), Cozart (9) and Nunez; Long, Darnell (5), Ames (8) and Lowery; WP: Castellani (2-1); LP: Long (0-2)


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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