ALTOONA – Stetson Allie smashed a solo homer and a grand slam on Wednesday night but in the end it was a walk-off sacrifice fly by Elias Diaz that capped a four-run ninth inning comeback that sent the Curve to a, 10-9, victory on Wednesday night. The multi-homer game was the fourth of Allie’s career while his five RBI also tied a career high. His two homers tonight give him three in the last two games.
After leading 5-0 early and then letting the lead slip away, the Curve faced a 9-6 deficit entering the ninth inning. Justin Howard mashed his first homer of the season off Senators reliever Tyler Herron (1-1) to start the inning and it was a 9-7 game. With no one out, Alen Hanson followed and hit a ball towards first that the first baseman Bloxom was able to field. He flipped it to Herron in time to get Hanson but Herron dropped the ball.
Now with a man on, the tying run came to the plate in Drew Maggi. Maggi flew out for the inning’s first out but that brought Allie to the dish representing the tying run. After essentially pitching around Allie to put him on, Mel Rojas, Jr. came to the plate with the tying run on at first and just one down. Rojas hit one back towards the mound but the Curve caught another break as Herron aired the throw well down the first base line. Both Hanson and Allie scored and the game was tied at nine.
The Senators then elected to intentionally walk both Willy Garcia and Andy Vasquez with Rojas having advanced all the way to third on the previous throwing error to setup a force at any base and also force the Curve to use a pinch hitter in the pitcher’s spot. The Curve called on Diaz and he delivered with the sac fly to win it.
Altoona’s late-inning heroics were able to overshadow the fact that Harrisburg scored seven unanswered runs after the Curve went up, 5-0 and the team also committed a season-high five errors. Starter Nick Kingham took a no decision after allowing four runs (three earned) in 5.1 innings. Ryan Beckman (1-1) earned the win after pitching the top of the ninth.
Allie finished the night 3-for-3 to up his average to .291 on the season. His grand slam home run was the first one by a Curve player this season and the first since Alex Dickerson hit one on June 2, 2013 in Portland. The multi-homer effort by Allie was also a first for a Curve player this season and the first since Howard hit a pair of homers on August 17, 2013 at Erie.
The win also secured the Curve their first series win of the season. In the first three games combined, the Curve have scored a total of 27 runs on 38 hits.
Eyeing its first four-game sweep of the season, Altoona (8-9) will also shoot to get to .500 with a win over the Senators (4-13) in the 6:30 p.m. series finale on Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It’ll be a Thirsty ThursdayTM at the ballpark with $2 16oz. Bud Light drafts and $2 22oz. sodas on special thanks to Rocky 104.9.
RHP Tyler Sample (1-0, 1.50) takes to the hill in the series finale for the Curve on Thursday. Harrisburg will counter with LHP Matt Purke (0-3, 9.49) in the closing game.
--Altoona Curve Media Relations