In stark contrast to Friday night's marathon seesaw opener, Saturday's middle game cruised through six and a half innings scoreless when Akron finally snapped the deadlock with a lone run in the bottom of the seventh. Curve starter Brandon Cumpton had been brilliant through six and a third, striking out six and allowing just two hits, but he departed with the bases loaded and just one gone in the seventh. Righty Mike Colla entered in relief and retired the only two men he faced, but the first was on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Davis Stoneburner that scored Chun Chen and staked the Aeros to a 1-0 lead.
The Curve wasted no time drawing even, using Charlie Cutler's one-out single to get the rally started in the top of the eighth. Cutler went to second on a single one out later by Brock Holt, and pinch runner Greg Picart, inserted in place of Cutler, scored on a Jarek Cunningham RBI knock immediately after Holt to make it a 1-1 game.
Saturday night went to the bullpens with Akron turning to 7-foot-1 righty Loek van Mil after the departure of their own starter, T.J. House, following eight innings of one-run ball. In two innings of work, van Mil faced just one over the minimum, allowed two singles, and didn't permit a runner past first base. Curve right-hander Vic Black matched Akron's arms with a scoreless eighth and ninth, but in the 10th, Jhonathan Ramos (2-1) served up a fifth-pitch offering that Weglarz deposited well beyond the right-field wall for the walk-off jack. The homer, Weglarz's second of the series, gave the win to van Mil (1-1).
Victims of five straight one-run defeats at this ballpark, the Curve will try to salvage the Sunday series finale against the division-leading Aeros. Altoona turns to veteran righty Shairon Martis (4-1, 2.84) for the third game against Akron southpaw Giovanni Soto (5-2, 4.22) with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Airtime on ESPN 1430 in Altoona and the Curve Radio Network is set for 12:35.
FROM ALTOONA CURVE COMMUNICATIONS