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Thompson’s big day sparks Yard Goats past Sea Dogs

Hartford’s Stefan Thompson had a double and a home run in Sunday’s big win over Portland at Dunkin Park.

HARTFORD, April 28, 2024 – Hartford’s Sterlin Thompson was 4-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBI to help lead the Yard Goats to a 12-5 Eastern League victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Sunday before another sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Park.

It was the third consecutive sellout crowd in Hartford. The Yard Goats hosted the largest weekend crowd in team history as a total of 22,440 fans attended Dunkin’ Park Friday through Sunday.

Hartford (12-7) have now won three straight and moved into first place in the Northeast Division, one win ahead of the Sea Dogs (11-8). The Goats erased a three-run Portland lead.

The Yard Goats got on the board in the first inning. Adael Amador and Sterlin Thompson singled to put base runners on first and third with no outs. After Sea Dogs starter Wikelman Gonzalez struck out Yanquiel Fernandez, Hartford’s Zach Kokoska hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Amador and make the score 1-0

In the second inning, the Sea Dogs answered with a two-out Eddison Paulino double that scored Nick Yorke to even the score at 1-1.

Yard Goats starter Mason Albright exited the game in the third inning due to injury. Reliever Evan Shawver entered the game and a two-out double by Yorke scored both Kyle Teel and Blaze Jordan to make the score 3-1. Matthew Lugo then tripled to drive in Yorke from second to push the Sea Dogs lead to 4-1.

In the fifth inning, the Yard Goats added a run to make the score 4-2. Kokoska led off the inning and reached base as he was hit by a pitch. After Kokoska stole second base and was awarded third off a Gonzalez balk, Ryan Ritter hit a ground ball to score Kokoska.

Sterlin Thompson led off the sixth inning with a solo home run to right field to bring the score to 4-3. Later in the inning, Braxton Fulford hit a two-out home run of his own to tie the game at 4-4.

The Yard Goats took control in the seventh inning, scoring five runs.

Bladmir Restituyo led off the inning with a single followed by a Nic Kent base hit and an Amador walk. With the bases loaded Thompson drove in Restituyo on an infield single to make the score 5-4. The ensuing at-bat saw Fernandez drive in Kent with a single as the Yard Goats took a 6-4 lead.

An error by Marcelo Mayer allowed Amador to score to bring the score to 7-4. Then a sacrifice fly by Ritter and a Warming Bernabel RBI single pushed the Yard Goats’ lead to 9-4.

The eighth inning saw Nic Kent single and Amador walk to place runners on first and second with no outs. Thompson hit a double to drive in Kent to bring the score to 10-5.

The Yard Goats continued to add to their lead as Kokoska drove in Amador on a groundout to second base and Fulford followed up with a single to drive home Thompson to make the score 12-5.

Hartford travels to Binghamton this week for six games with the New York Mets Double A affiliate. The Goats return home to Hartford on May 14 when they host New Hampshire.

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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