- High School
First Time Below .500 Since May 19th
In the first game of seven at home in six days, the New Britain Rock Cats stormed out to a 7-0 lead after two innings and never looked back as they went on to defeat the Altoona Curve by the score of 10-4 at Blair County Ballpark on Tuesday night.
In the first inning off Curve starter Bryan Morris, the Rock Cats scored two runs with two outs, but then added five more in the second inning to jump out to a 7-0 lead. In the second, Morris (1-3) walked the leadoff batter before Chris Cates singled and Chris Herrmann drove in a run with another single. The next two batters each walked, one was with the bases loaded, before Evan Bigley singled in two more to extend the lead to six. One more run would score on an RBI groundout to extend the lead to seven.
The Curve delivered a response in the third inning as Jose Hernandez ripped a ball off the wall in dead center with one down and he would score on a single by Brad Chalk. The next hitter, Brock Holt, tripled to right, scoring Chalk to make it 7-2. The Curve got a third run as Jordy Mercer doubled to right and Altoona was back in it at 7-3, or so they thought.
Morris went four innings and allowed seven runs, all earned on nine hits with three walks and no strikeouts. He gave way to Tim Alderson who then allowed three runs in two innings on three hits and three walks as the comeback was halted and the lead was extend back out to seven.
The Rock Cats starter Steve Hirschfeld went five innings and allowed three runs, all in the third, on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He earned the victory, ending a string of four straight losses in his last four starts.
The Cats bullpen came on after Hirschfeld (4-4) and worked the final four innings and allowed only one run. Tony Davis worked two scoreless, followed by a clean inning from Deolis Guerra. Bruce Pugh came on in the ninth and allowed back-to-back baserunners to reach to open the inning and allowed a run on a sacrifice fly before he ended the ballgame.
With the loss, the Curve are back to a game below .500 for the first time since May 19th when they were 18-19.
The three-game series will continue on Wednesday as RHP Mike Colla (4-2, 2.84) will make his tenth start of the season and he will be opposed by RHP Liam Hendriks (6-2, 2.63).
The Wednesday night game will feature a special mid-week postgame fireworks show on Cresson Night in Curve, Pa.