ALTOONA- Neil Walker tripled home the tying run and scored the eventual game-winner as part of a four-run eighth inning that lifted the Curve to a 5-2 win over the New Britain Rock Cats Thursday night at Blair County Ballpark. The victory -- Altoona's eighth straight at home -- gave the Curve a three-game series sweep of the Rock Cats to open their six-game homestand.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, the
Curve offense, which had been held in check for most of the night by
Reliever Frank Mata walked
leadoff man Brett Roneberg,
who then scored the tying run two batters later on
The four-run eighth helped Curve right -hander Kip Bouknight earn his team-leading seventh win of the season. Bouknight (7-2) worked eight strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits, and joined Trenton's Jeff Marquez and Erie's Dallas Trahern as the only Eastern League pitchers with more than six wins so far this season.
Curve closer Matt Peterson recorded a 1-2-3 top of the ninth inning to
preserve the 5-2 win and
Steven Pearce, the league's hottest hitter entering Thursday's action with a .465 average and 21 RBI in his last 11 games, was held hitless by New Britain pitching in the game to bring an end to both his 11-game hitting streak and 18-game on-base streak.
The Curve (32-30) will continue their homestand Friday
night at Blair County Ballpark with the opener of a three-game set against
the Connecticut Defenders (San Francisco Giants). First pitch is set for
7:05 p.m. Right-hander Luis Munoz (6-3,
3.70) will take the mound for
The Zooperstars will provide the entertainment throughout the game, and earlier in the day, two high school state baseball champions will be crowned at BCB as the PIAA Championships get underway. Title games in Class A and AAA will be contested at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
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