BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Altoona Curve were limited to one run over 14 innings as big innings for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies aided a sweep of Tuesday's double-header, 7-0 and 5-1, at NYSEG Stadium.
The only run for the Curve (18-19) during the double-header came from relief pitcher Beau Sulser , who belted a solo home run in the third inning of game two off Rumble Ponies (20-12) left-hander David Peterson.
In the opener, Binghamton starter Anthony Kay (Win, 4-2) twirled a three-hit shutout with eight strikeouts and went the full seven innings of a 7-0 Ponies victory. Altoona had single hits in the second, fourth and sixth and placed just two runners in scoring position. The effort by Kay was the first complete-game shutout of his professional career.
Curve starter Pedro Vasquez (Loss, 3-1) tossed three hitless innings before an error set up a sacrifice fly by former Altoona outfielder Barrett Barnes. Mets top prospect Andres Gimenez started the inning with a single and advanced to third when Vasquez threw away a bunted grounder by Braxton Lee before he scored on the Barnes fly out.
Binghamton put the game away with six runs in the sixth inning. Gimenez, Lee, Barnes and Pat Mazeika all connected on consecutive hits off Vasquez to begin the frame before a one out walk to Kevin Kaczmarski forced the right-hander to exit the game. Dario Pizzano, the first hitter that faced reliever Tate Scioneaux , put the game out of reach with a three-run homer.
Logan Hill went 2-for-3 and Jared Oliva went 1-for-3 to account for the Curve's three hits in the first contest.
Mazeika belted a walk-off grand slam to lift the Rumble Ponies two a 5-1 win in game two and broke a 1-1 tie with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Curve reliever Blake Weiman (Loss, 1-2). In the double-header, Mazeika added up six RBIs and pushed his hitting streak to 13 games.
Weiman, who issued just 14 walks in 108.2 career innings, walked the first two Binghamton batters in the seventh. Arismendy Alcantara laid down a bunt that the southpaw reliever nearly caught for an out, but it fell just out of his reach for a sacrifice bunt single to fill the sacks with no outs. Weiman struck out Sam Haggerty on a controversial 11th-pitch foul tip for the first out and induced a fielder's choice grounder toward third base to force the second out at the plate. Three pitches later, Mazeika unloaded on the game-winning slam for Binghamton's second walk-off win of the season.
Sulser took over on the hill for the Curve in the second inning after spot-starter Joel Cesar used 28 pitched to work around three walks in a scoreless first. Sulser sat the Ponies down in order during his first of three innings before he grabbed a bat to lead off the third.
The right-handed reliever worked a seven-pitch at bat with four foul balls against Peterson before a bellowing blast cleared the wall in left field put Altoona on top, 1-0.
Sulser's home run was the first homer by a Curve pitcher since Alex McRae homered on April 30, 2017. It was also the seventh pitcher home run in franchise history and just the third of the decade, including McRae's and Tim Alderson's on July 1, 2010.
The Rumble Ponies would get that run by Sulser back against him in the fourth. Ali Sanchez singled with two outs prior to a two-out walk from Pizzano set up an RBI single by Jason Krizaon to even the score.
The Curve will look to avoid the sweep on Wednesday with a 10:35 a.m. first pitch at NYSEG Stadium. Left-hander Sean Brady (0-3, 9.00) will start for the Curve against Binghamton right-hander Harol Gonzalez (3-0, 2.88).
After visiting Binghamton, the Curve will return to PNG Field on Thursday with the Harrisburg Senators in town. The four-game homestand next weekend features fireworks on Friday, Ghost Bustin' Night on Saturday and Halloween at the Ballpark on Sunday with a postgame helicopter candy drop. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99.CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.