Altoona 2, Binghamton 1
Altoona Curve catcher Carlos Paulino stroked a pinch-hit, walk-off single in the bottom of the thirteenth inning to hand the Binghamton Mets a 2-1 loss at Peoples Natural Gas Field on Thursday night. The B-Mets pounded out 10 hits, but went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners in the rubber match loss.
Pitching in his third inning of relief, Adam Kolarek surrendered a lead-off double to Adalberto Santos to start the thirteenth. Following a groundout and an intentional walk, the Curve had runners at the corners for Paulino. He lined a 1-0 pitch into right field, brining home Santos with the game-winning run.
Binghamton had grabbed the lead first using speed in the fourth inning to break a scoreless game. With a runner on first, Darrell Ceciliani narrowly avoided bouncing into an inning-ending double play. After beating the throw from shortstop Alen Hanson, Ceciliani stole second, his 24th swipe of the year. Wilfredo Tovar brought him home by chopping a two-out single up the middle, giving the B-Mets a 1-0 lead.
B-Mets starter Erik Goeddel kept the Curve offense in check for five shutout innings. The right-hander allowed two singles and issued one walk over his first two frames, but left all three aboard. Goeddel cruised from the second to the fifth, retiring twelve straight batters.
His sail came to a halt in the sixth when he hit Santos with one out. Santos promptly stole second and moved to third when catcher Travis d’Arnaud‘s throw skipped into center field. Gregory Polanco wasted little time to cash in on the misplay and tied the game with a sac fly to right.
With the game knotted at one, Justin Howard started the seventh with a single to right. Goeddel fanned Jarek Cunningham before handing off to reliever Chasen Bradford. The righty surrendered a single, but bounced back and retired the final two batters of the inning, leaving the potential game-tying run on third base.
The B-Mets put two runners aboard in the eighth against reliever Ryan Beckman, but failed to break the tie. The righty fanned Travis Taijeron and induced Ceciliani to ground out, leaving the potential go-ahead run on third base.
Bradford returned the favor in the bottom of the eighth. Hanson started the inning with a ground-rule double and moved to third on a sac bunt. Bradford intentionally walked Alex Dickerson with two outs and backed up the gamble by inducing Kelson Brown to ground out to third to end the inning.
Things did not get easier for Chase Huchingson in the ninth. Jarek Cunningham opened the inning by reaching on a throwing error by Josh Rodriguez at third. A sac bunt and an intentional walk put the potential game-winning run in scoring position for the second straight inning. Huchingson induced Hanson to bounce out to first to send the game to extras.
Curve reliever Quinton Miller allowed three hits in the tenth and eleventh, but side-stepped trouble to post scoreless frames. Jason Townsend took over in the twelfth and added two more shutout innings.
After his tight-rope walk in the ninth, Huchingson compiled a perfect tenth. The southpaw handed off to Kolarek in the 11th who retired the first six batters he faced. His run came to end when Santos led off the thirteenth with the rally-starting double.
Kolarek (2-3) suffered his second loss in as many nights, allowing one run over 2-1/3 innings. Townsend (3-3) racked up his third victory. Goeddel gave up one unearned run on three hits and struck out five over 6-1/3 innings in the no-decision.
The B-Mets (67-43) start a three-game series against the Harrisburg Senators Friday night at Metro Bank Park at 7:00 PM. RHP Greg Peavey gets the nod for Binghamton against RHP Taylor Hill. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show on Newsradio 1290 WNBF begins at 6:45 PM. Fans can also listen to live coverage of B-Mets baseball via the “Binghamton Mets Baseball Network” station using the TuneIn app on their mobile devices.
POSTGAME NOTES: It was Binghamton’s fourth walk-off loss of the season…Binghamton is now 9-5 in rubber games this season…Travis d’Arnaud went 1-for-5 with a single and a walk in his second game with the B-Mets