PORTLAND, ME - Portland third baseman Rafael Devers drove in three runs with a three-hit game to lead the Sea Dogs past the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, 8-5, on Monday night at Hadlock Field. Binghamton collected ten hits, including a home run from Patrick Biondi, in their second straight defeat.
In their second turn through the order, Portland flexed their muscle against Ponies starter Casey Delgado. With two aboard, Cole Sturgeon scorched an RBI single into right. Mike Olt pelted the center-field wall with a game-tying double before Devers put Portland ahead with a two-run single up the middle.
The Rumble Ponies pulled closer, but Devers stiff-armed the comeback bid in the seventh. With two on, the 20-year-old pulled Luis Mateo's 3-1 offering down the right-field line, doubling Portland's lead. The Sea Dogs tacked on two more runs in the inning to stretch the advantage to four.
Binghamton had chances late in the game, but failed to break through with a critical hit. Tomas Nido supplied an RBI single in the eighth and the Ponies brought the tying run to the plate, but Ty Buttrey silenced the threat by retiring Luis Guillorme. In the ninth, Buttrey stranded two more to seal his first professional save.
The night had started with the Rumble Ponies flashing the offense early. Matt Oberste and Kevin Taylor doubled to get the ball rolling in the second before a run-producing single by Guillorme.
Biondi etched his name into the Rumble Ponies' record book in the fifth by launching the first home run in team history. His drive down the right-field line was his first long ball since August 2015.
Portland starter Jacob Dahlstrand (1-0) coaxed the Rumble Ponies into a dozen groundouts over five innings en route to his first win. Buttrey collected the final four outs to preserve Portland's perfect record.
Delgado (0-1) was touched for five runs on eight hits over five innings in the loss.
The Rumble Ponies (2-2) continue their three-game visit to Portland on Tuesday night at 6:00 PM. RHP Mickey Jannis toes the rubber against RHP Kevin McAvoy. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting a 5:45 PM on News Radio 1290 WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.
POSTGAME NOTES: Patrick Biondi hit his last home run as a Savannah Sand Gnat on August 15, 205; he went 473 plate appearances without another before his long ball in the fifth…Kyle Regnault and Luis Mateo each made their season debuts working out of the bullpen…Matt Oberste has six hits in his last 11 at-bats
The Rumble Ponies will kick off a new era of professional baseball in the Southern Tier with their home opener on Thursday, April 13 against the Erie SeaWolves. Tickets for the game and Binghamton's entire home schedule can be purchased at the NYSEG Stadium box office, online on www.bingrp.com and over the phone at (607) 722-FUNN.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.