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Record 10-run inning bounces Hartford past Sea Dogs

For one night, the Yard Goats were known as the Bouncing Pickles and then routed Portland, 14-6. (Photo courtesy Hartford Yard Goats)

HARTFORD, May 17 — On the back of a franchise record 10-run sixth inning, the Hartford Yard Goats beat the Portland Sea Dogs, 14-6 on Wednesday in an Eastern League game at Dunkin’ Park.

Hartford (18-16) took the field at the Bouncing Pickles for one night, donning bright green uniforms. It was a tribute to an old state law that prohibited the sale of a pickle unless it can be bounced off the ground.

After three innings, Hartford led 3-2. The Pickles used a Grant Lavigne RBI groundout and a Julio Carreras RBI single in the first inning to jump out to the early advantage. In the third, the Sea Dogs answered, cutting Pickles’ lead to just one. Two innings later, Portland used a Nick Yorke two-run home run to secure a two-run lead after five innings of play.

The sixth inning was the story of the ball game for Hartford. Fourteen Pickles’ batters piled up eight hits in an inning that ended 13-4 in favor of Hartford. Nico Decolati’s double kicked things off, tying the game at four, scoring Warming Bernabel from third. Hunter Goodman followed suit four batters later, lining a double into left field to push another two runs across the plate.

For the second time in his 2023 season, New England native Grant Lavigne collected three RBI. The first baseman launched his fifth home run of the campaign off of Portland’s right-hander Jacob Webb to extend the Hartford lead to 9-4.

His right-center field blast ties teammate Kyle Datres for second on the Yard Goats in that category. Lavigne’s two hits on Thursday night marked the seventh game in which he managed a multi-hit contest.

On the mound, Hartford used four pitchers to strike out 13 batters. Right-hander Andrew Quezada started on the bump for Hartford, going five innings for the third time in 2023. Evan Justice and Fineas Del Bonta-Smith combined for 2.1 innings of relief, allowing no runs while striking out six in the process.

The Pickles found the scoreboard for the 14th and final time in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kyle Datres’ sacrifice fly scored Bernabel to tie a franchise record 14 runs in a game. Eight of the nine batters had at least one hit as all nine hitters crossed the plate throughout the historic night in Connecticut’s capital.

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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