CURVE, Pa. - Kevin Kramer hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the Altoona Curve to a 3-2 win on Opening Night at Peoples Natural Gas Field over the Akron RubberDucks. A crowd of 7,313 packed the stands, the largest attendance for a home opener in the Curve's 19-year franchise history.
Kramer's eighth-inning home, his second of the night and third of the season, broke a 2-2 tie. Montana DuRapau (Save, 2) closed out the win in the ninth inning.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning. Edwin Espinal led off the frame with a single, and Connor Joe followed by working a walk. Jordan Luplow hit a ground ball to second base, but it was booted by Tyler Krieger, loading the bases. Michael Suchy followed with a sacrifice fly to give Altoona a 1-0 lead.
Kramer hit his first homer of the night in the fifth inning to extend the Curve lead to 2-0.
Austin Coley left the game in the sixth with two runners on, and Yu-Cheng Chang hit a triple off Tate Scioneaux (Win, 1-0) to tie the game at 2-2.
Coley pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out.
Michael Peoples started for the RubberDucks, going six innings and allowing two runs. Cole Sulser (Loss, 1-1) allowed the go-ahead home run to Kramer. It was the only hit he surrendered in two innings.
Altoona and Akron continue the series on Friday night. Right-hander J.T. Brubaker (0-1, 6.75) gets the start for the Curve, opposite of right-hander Nick Pasquale (0-0, 3.60) for the RubberDucks. First pitch is at 6 p.m. from Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Friday will be Polish Heritage Night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. It will also be the first Ritchey's Dairy Curve Kids' Club Game of the season. Tickets are available online at AltoonaCurve.com, by phone at 877.99.CURVE or at the PNG Field box office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.