Eight runs in the third inning paved the way, and the Harrisburg Senators blew out the Binghamton Mets 13-3 on Sunday evening at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton. The win, combined with a 1-0 loss by the Bowie Baysox earlier in the day, gives the Senators a magic number of just one to clinch their first playoff berth in the Eastern League since 2002. The Senators (76-65) need either a win Monday afternoon against the B-Mets, OR a Bowie loss at Richmond, to officially punch their ticket to the playoffs.
With one out in the third, and a scoreless game, the Senators proceeded to put five straight men on base, starting with a solo home run by Brad Coon. Josh Johnson's triple added two more runs, and then Johnson scored on a passed ball to make it 4-0. After another out, the next four men reached base, and four more runs scored. Michael Burgess doubled in Jesus Valdez, Jhonatan Solano doubled in Burgess, and then Coon singled to drive in Solano and Ofilio Castro. Twelve men came to the plate in the inning, and the Senators never looked back.
The Sens added a run in the top of the fourth, before Binghamton scored its first run in the bottom of the inning. The run in the fourth came on a bases-loaded walk to Michael Burgess, which drove in Jesus Valdez. Two more runs scored in the fifth, as Chris Marrero drove in Coon and Johnson with a two-run single. Burgess then singled in Johnson in the seventh inning, and Stephen Lombardozzi singled in Solano in the eighth, to put the Senators up by a 13-1 total. Salomon Manriquez hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to draw Binghamton slightly closer, but ten runs proved to be the final deficit.
Ryan Tatusko (3-1) pitched a gem for the Senators, throwing seven runs, allowing just one run, and striking out six. Jack Spradlin pitched the final two innings, and gave up two runs. Scott Shaw (4-7) gave up six runs in two and two-thirds innings as the Binghamton starter, allowed six runs, and took the loss. The Sens cranked out eighteen hits in the victory, getting a huge five-for-five game from Brad Coon. Coon also drove in three runs, and scored two. Six other batters--Lombardozzi, Johnson, Valdez, Marrero, Burgess, and Solano--had two hits apiece, and Castro had one. Johnson scored four runs, and Burgess drove in three.
With a magic number of one, the Senators take the field at 1:05 on Labor Day Monday to try to clinch a playoff spot. A win would accomplish that goal, as would a Bowie loss at Richmond. The Senators send RHP Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.37) to the mound against the B-Mets, against RHP Dylan Owen (4-4, 4.23) of the B-Mets. Interested fans can hear every pitch of the final game of the regular season by tuning in to 1460 AM The Ticket, or logging on to www.senatorsbaseball.com. Coverage begins with the pregame show at 12:50.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.