Akron, OH- The Hartford Yard Goats were defeated by the Akron RubberDucks by the score of 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Canal Park in Akron, Ohio. Joe Sever's infield single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Mike Papi as the RubberDucks won the rubber game of the three game series. Hartford shortstop Brendan Rodgers made a terrific diving stop on the Sever grounder and flipped the ball to second baseman Ashley Graeter but Todd Hankins beat the throw to second base allowing the game winning run to score. The Yard Goats led 3-0 after one inning and trailed 4-3 until Brian Mundell tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning scoring Josh Fuentes.
The Yard Goats rallied for three runs in the first inning off Akron starter Nick Pasquale. Omar Carrizales led off the game with a walk, stole second base and took third on a wild pitch. Brendan Rodgers followed with an RBI single, scoring Carrizales and giving the Yard Goats a 1-0 lead. Drew Weeks continued the rally with a single and then Correlle Prime drove home Rodgers with a hit to right field, Hartford's third straight single, making it 2-0 Yard Goats. Later in the inning Josh Fuentes extended his hit streak to 8 consecutive games with a single, scoring Weeks to make it 3-0 Hartford.
Yard Goats starter Luis Niebla left injured in the first inning. On just his eighth pitch of the game the right hander was injured and had to leave the game. Reliever Troy Neiman came in and retired four of the first five batters he faced.
The RubberDucks put together a four-run inning in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Luigi Rodriguez got Akron going with a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Todd Hankins. Then, after loading the bases on two walks and a hit batsman, Eric Haase cracked a two run single tying the game. Mike Papi followed with an RBI single putting the RubberDucks ahead 4-3.
Hartford tied the game with a run in the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Brian Mundell. However, the RubberDucks loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Joe Sever won the game with an infield hit scoring Mike Papi off reliever Edison Frias.
The Yard Goats continue their road trip and begin a three-game weekend series against the Erie SeaWolves (Detroit Tigers affiliate) on Friday night at UPMC Park in Erie, Pennsylvania. RHP Craig Schlitter, who is from Guillford, CT, will start for the Yard Goats. LHP Matt Crouse will pitch for the SeaWolves. The broadcast can be heard on AM 1410 WPOP or on iheart radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.