Curve, Pa.- The Altoona Curve were swept in both games of a doubleheader by the Akron RubberDucks on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Game one saw the Curve rally late but ultimately lose 9-7 and then drop the second game of the twinbill 2-1.
Game one began after an hour and 17 minute rain delay but the delay didn't stop the Curve offense in the early going. Altoona continued the trend of first inning runs by scoring two in the first. With runners on first and second, Mel Rojas, Jr. hit a two-RBI double that scored Alen Hanson and Gift Ngoepe. It was the 26th run that Altoona scored in the first inning this season.
In the second, Akron responded by scoring three runs to take a 3-2 lead. The 'Ducks then added three more in the third but the Curve responded in the bottom of the inning. Rojas collected his third RBI of the game with an RBI single that scored Drew Maggi.
Akron tallied three more runs in the sixth inning and took a 9-3 lead but Altoona started to rally for the second straight game. In the home half of the inning, the Curve sent all nine batters to the plate and scored four runs. Rojas singled and adanced to third on an Andy Vasquez double. Rojas then scored when Jarek Cunningham hit an RBI single to left. After a walk to Keon Broxton loaded the bases, Drew Maggi walked to cut the lad to 9-5. Hanson followed with an RBI single and Ngoepe hit into a fielder's choice to end the Curve scoring for the first game.
Tyler Sample (2-1) tossed three innings and gave up six runs (four earned) on five hits and received his first loss of the season. The right-hander walked four batters and struck out two while throwing 63 pitches. Gabriel Arias (3-2) earned the victory for Akron and Tyler Sturdevant notched his third save of the year.
In game two, the Curve offense scored another first inning run when Hanson drew a leadoff walk and scored on a Stetson Allie groundout. Unfortunately for the Curve, Akron plated two in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Altoona almost tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Justin Howard hit a double down the right field line, but a perfect relay throw kept the Curve off the board and ending the inning.
Brandon Mann (1-3) started the second game for the Curve and took the loss after he allowed two runs on four hits with one strikeout and five walks. Mann fell into a tough situation in his first three innings by leaving runners in scoring position at the end of each inning. Duke von Schamann (1-0) picked up his first win of the year and Kyle Crockett collected his third save of the year.
Altoona (11-16) and Akron (17-11) will conclude their four game series with a Sunday matinee beginning at 1 p.m. Prior to the game, there will be a youth baseball clinic that runs from 10 a.m. to noon at the ballpark that is free with a purchase of a ticket to Sunday's game. Additionally, any kids who have signed up for the Ritchey's Dairy Curve Kids' Club will get free admission into the game. At the conclusion of Sunday's game, all kids will get to run the bases.
RHP Nick Kingham (1-2, 3.46) will get the start for Altoona in the final game of the series and he will be opposed by RHP Joe Colon (1-2, 3.14 ERA).
Gates open at noon while airtime on ESPN Radio 1430, WVAM and the Curve Radio Network is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit AltoonaCuve.com, call 877.99.CURVE, or stop by the box office at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.