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Despite rainout, Yard Goats gain ground in playoff hunt

Hartford pitcher Rico Garcia will going for his ninth win of the season Sunday in game one of an Eastern League doubleheader with Erie.

ERIE, PA., June 15 – The Hartford Yard Goats didn’t swing a bat Saturday night but they gained ground in the race for a playoff berth.

With losses by Trenton and Reading, the Yard Goats are now in a virtual tie for first place with both teams. The winner of the Eastern League’s Eastern and Western Division at the end of the first half of the season – after Tuesday night’s games – earn a spot in September’s Eastern League playoffs.

The EL is going with a split season format to determine their playoff participants.

Hartford’s game with Erie was rained out Saturday and will be made up Sunday in a doubleheader beginning at 12:05 p.m. Yard Goats ace pitcher Rico Garcia (8-1) is scheduled to start in game one with lefthander Jack Wynkoop set to start in game two.

Reading dropped a 3-0 decision to Harrisburg on Saturday while Bowie beat Trenton, 9-4.

Hartford (37-28) can win the first half Eastern Division title and a spot in the playoffs with wins in their remaining three games or two victories and a loss each by Trenton and Reading. Hartford hosts Bowie on Tuesday night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park on the final night of the first half of the season.

The Yard Goats have yet to make the playoffs here in Hartford. The franchise last played in the postseason in 2009 as the New Britain Rock Cats.

Eastern League standings

Eastern Division W L Pct. GB
Trenton 36 27 .571
Reading 37 28 .569
Hartford 36 28 .569
Binghamton 33 29 .550

Saturday’s games
Harrisburg 3, Reading 0
Altoona 5, Binghamton 1
Hartford at Erie, ppd. rain
Bowie 9, Trenton 4
Sunday’s games
Reading at Harrisburg
Altoona at Binghamton
Hartford at Erie (2), 12:05 p.m.
Trenton at Bowie
Tuesday’s games
Binghamton at New Hampshire
Richmond at Trenton
Bowie at Hartford
Altoona at Reading
(First half of season complete)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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