Akron RubberDucks lose late lead, fall in extras to Harrisburg
(Harrisburg, Pa.) July 31, 2014 – Harrisburg’s Quincy Latimore hit a walk-off, solo homer to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning Thursday night, as the Senators captured a 10-9 victory over the Akron RubberDucks in the opener of a four-game series at Metro Bank Park.
Latimore, 25, who spent part of the 2013 season with Akron, homered twice against his former team Thursday. His game- winner in the 10th was preceded by a two-run shot in the third. He now has nine home runs on the year. It was the second straight night that Latimore’s power led to a Harrisburg win. On Wednesday, he clubbed a game-winning grand slam at Richmond, also in extra-innings.
Despite the loss, the RubberDucks (60-53) did not lose any ground in the EL West as both first-place Richmond, and third-place Bowie both lost on Thursday. Akron remains 6 1⁄2 games behind Richmond and 3 1⁄2 in front of the Baysox. The top two teams in the division earn post-season berths. Going into Friday’s game, the Ducks have 29 games remaining in the regular season.
With the score knotted at 9-9, Akron righthander Louis Head (0-1) entered the game in the 10th, and quickly fanned lead- off hitter Drew Vettleson. After getting ahead of Latimore, 0-1, on a called strike, Head’s next pitch was crushed to right for an opposite-field, game-winning homer. It was the second walk-off win at home for the Senators (45-65) this season.
The RubberDucks rallied from a 7-6 deficit with three runs in the ninth, getting three consecutive two-out, run-scoring singles from Bryan LaHair, Jordan Smith and Bryson Myles, all off righthander Paul Demny. Harrisburg, however, countered with a two-run single by Kevin Keyes in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, 9-9, against Akron closer Shawn Armstrong, who suffered his fifth blown save of the season.
Akron nearly took the lead in the top of the 10th when the first two batters reached against righthander Derek Self(2-2), but Self worked around the jam by retiring the next three hitters, which set the stage for Latimore’s game-winner in the bottom of the 10th.
Justin Toole had a career-night for the RubberDucks, finishing 3-4, with four RBI. He clubbed a two-run double in the second inning, and added a two-run single in the fifth that brought the RubberDucks to within one run at 7-6.
The RubberDucks and Senators will play game two of the series Friday night at 7:00. RHP Will Roberts (10-10, 4.11) is the scheduled starter for Akron, while RHP Scott McGregor (1-1, 6.04) is expected to get the ball for Harrisburg. The game will be broadcast on WARF 1350 AM and online at www.AkronRubberDucks.com.
The Akron RubberDucks are the Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 2014 season is the 18th since moving to Canal Park and the first as the RubberDucks. For more information, including official team merchandise, go to www.AkronRubberDucks.com or call 330-253-5151. Fans may also follow the team on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AkronRubberDucks and Twitter at @AkronRubberDuck.