WP- Rico Garcia (8-1)
LP- Austin McGeorge (0-2)
S- Ben Bowden (19)
HARTFORD- Willie Abreu's two-run single helped lift the Hartford Yard Goats to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies Sunday afternoon before 6,850 at Dunkin' Donuts Park. The victory kept Hartford (36-25) in first place by 1/2 game over Trenton in the tight Eastern Division first-half playoff race with seven games to play in the split-season. Eastern League saves leader Ben Bowden nailed down his 19th save in 19 chances, striking out the side in the ninth inning. It was the 18th sellout crowd of the season in 30 home dates. The Yard Goats, averaging 5,737 fans per date, lead the EL in attendance with 172,101. Hartford needs to draw 23,761 to reach the one million mark in the third year of the franchise.
Held without a hit for five innings by Binghamton starter Luc Rennie - making his Double-A debut - the Yard Goats rallied in the sixth against Austin McGeorge. With one out, Manny Melendez and Tyler Nevin hit back-to-back singles, before Colton Welker walked. Abreu followed by stroking a two-run single to right-field. Welker scored the game's final run on a fielder's choice ground out by Alan Trejo.
Hartford starter Rico Garcia picked up his league-leading eighth victory (8-1), thanks to the comeback. The Hawaii native allowed one run on three hits, walked three and struck out four. Heath Holder and Logan Cozart each pitched a scoreless inning, setting the stage for Bowden's heroics. The Yard Goats are now 8-1 in deciding games of series.
Binghamton (32-25) scored its only run in the fifth inning on a lead-off double by Ali Sanchez, wild pitch and a sacrifice foul-fly down the left-field line by Braxton Lee.
After a day off, the Yard Goats begin a three-game series at Akron on Tuesday night at 7:05, followed by three games at Erie. The game will be broadcast on News Radio 1410 AM, on 100.9 FM and on the Internet on newsradio1410.iheart.com and on MiLB.com. Hartford returns to Dunkin' Donuts Park on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:05 PM against Bowie.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.