BINGHAMTON, NY - Julian Merryweather struck out a career-high 10 batters, leading the Akron RubberDucks past the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 5-1, Friday night at NYSEG Stadium. For the second straight night, the Akron arms limited the Binghamton bats to two hits, whiffing a season-high 15 Rumble Ponies.
The RubberDucks began their wire-to-wire win by scoring their first run in the third inning. With two outs and no one on, Tyler Kreiger delivered his third home run of the season over the left field fence.
Akron padded their lead in the sixth inning when Eric Haase's second triple of the season drove home Joe Sever. Sever later scored on Mark Mathias' sacrifice fly, giving the RubberDucks a 3-0 advantage.
After striking out four batters in the first three innings, Merryweather faced one of his only threats in the fourth frame. Kevin Taylor led off with a double and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Merryweather proceeded to strike out Tomás Nido, Kevin Kaczmarski, and David Thompson in order, to retire the side and end the threat.
Binghamton crossed their only run in the sixth inning when a Kevin Taylor groundout scored Champ Stuart from third base.
Akron scratched two more runs across in the seventh and eighth innings to earn their 5-0 win.
Donovan Hand (1-1) lasted six strong innings, allowing three earned runs and three walks. It's the first time, in four Double-A starts this season, the Rumble Ponies have lost when Hand pitches. The combination of Kelly Secrest, Scarlyn Reyes, and Cory Burns allowed two runs in the final three innings.
Merryweather (3-2) racked up his 10 strikeouts over six innings. He allowed just two hits, while dishing out one walk. Mitch Brown and Robbie Aviles pitched three perfect innings in relief, striking out five.
The Rumble Ponies (18-13) continue their five-game set against Akron with a doubleheader Saturday at 12:05 PM. RHP Corey Oswalt takes the hill against RubberDucks LHP Thomas Pannone, before LHP Ben Griset battles RHP Cole Sulser in game two. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 11:50 AM on Newsradio 1290 WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton has lost back-to-back games for the first time since April 14 & 15 against Erie…the Rumble Ponies were held to two hits or fewer in consecutive games for the first time since at least 2006…Binghamton's 15 strikeouts were the most in a nine-inning game since they struck out 15 times on July 6, 2013 against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.