Curve Squeeze the Thunder

Curve Squeeze the Thunder

Ngoepe bunt gives Altoona the walk-off win.

ALTOONA  Gift Ngoepe executed a perfect squeeze with Keon Broxton streaking down the third-base line to help the Curve walk off on the Thunder, 3-2, on a soggy Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The game, which began at 7:03 p.m., took two hours and 46 minutes but was stalled by a two hour and 18 minute rain delay.

 

Both teams were quick out of the gate and finished five scoreless innings before Trenton broke the deadlock in the sixth. While no team had scored a run, all three members of the Curve with significant hitting streaks were able to extend those streaks on Tuesday night. Elias Diaz ran his team-best streak to 15 games with a single in the second,Alen Hanson extended his to 11 games with a single in the first and Josh Bell ran his to six games with a single in the fourth.

 

It was Tyler Austin of Trenton who started the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the sixth but the Curve were primed to respond in the bottom half.

 

Hanson doubled to start the frame and then stole third while Drew Maggi was at the plate. The rains came and sent the game into a delay that could have ended the night and forced the game to be played on Wednesday. However, play would resume after 2:18 and when it did the Curve were able to take the lead.

 

Jacob Lindgren came in to restart the game for the Thunder and he issued a pair of walks to start his night. He gotStetson Allie to hit into a fielder’s choice that erased Hanson at home. However, with the bases still loaded Lindgren walked Diaz to walk in a run and tie the game. Willy Garcia struck out but Broxton hammered a single to right to bring home Bell to give the Curve the lead.

 

Trenton tied it with an unearned run off Joely Rodriguez in the seventh and neither team would score again until the ninth. Broxton led off the ninth with a hustle double, moved to third on Jarek Cunningham’s sac bunt, and scored on the all-or-nothing squeeze to win the game.

 

Broxton and Hanson each finished the game 2-for-4. In addition to Diaz’s 15-game hit streak, which is six shy of the franchise-best of 21, the Venezuelan native is also riding a 17 game on-base streak.

 

Lost in the rain delay was the solid start by Zack Dodson, who allowed just one run in six innings for his fifth quality start of the season (and third in his last four games). Collin Balester (1-1) pitched the final two innings for the win.

 

-Curve Media Relations

 

 

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