RubberDucks outlast Mother Nature for doubleheader sweep
The Akron RubberDucks found a way to defeat not only the Altoona Curve, but also Mother Nature on Saturday night as they swept a doubleheader, 9-7, and 2-1, on a rainy night at People’s Natural Gas Field.
After waiting out a one-hour and 17-minute rain delay at the outset of the twinbill, the Ducks battled through intermittent rain throughout game two, even enduring a 15-minute delay in the fourth inning. Heavy rain was falling when the second ended. Through it all, however, the Rubberducks (17-11) prevailed with the tried-and-true formula of timely hitting, good defense, and solid pitching.
Akron has won seven consecutive games, and with Richmond’s loss at Trenton Saturday, now stands alone in first place in the EL West, 1 ½ games ahead of the Flying Squirrels. Although just 28 games into a 142-game season, there is never a bad time to be in first place.
In the first game, the Ducks scored a season-high nine runs en route to a comeback victory. After falling behind 2-0 in the first, Akron stormed back with three runs in each the second and third innings against Tyler Sample (2-1).Tyler Naquin had a pair of sacrifice flies. Later, Francisco Lindor chipped in a two-run single and Bryson Myles an RBI triple to build the lead to 9-3.
Altoona came back with four runs in the sixth to pull to within two, but Tyler Sturdevant slammed the door for his third save. The win went to Gabriel Arias (3-2), who worked the first innings and left with a 6-3 lead.
In the nightcap, Justin Toole’s two-run double off Brandon Mann (1-3) in the second inning erased an early 1-0 deficit. Righthander Duke von Schamann (1-0) did the rest, hurling six solid innings and allowing just one, unearned run on six hits. With two outs in the sixth, von Schamann gave up a single to Mel Rojas and a double toJustin Howard. Rojas attempted to score on Howard’s double to right, but was thrown out at the plate to preserve the Akron lead at 2-1.
Lefty Kyle Crockett worked a perfect seventh despite a downpour, and claimed his third save.
The RubberDucks and Curve (11-16)will conclude the series on Sunday afternoon 1:00. RHP Joe Colon (1-2, 3.14) will get the start for Akron, while RHP Nick Kingham (1-2, 3.46) is the announced starter for Altoona.