CURVE, Pa – With the bases loaded and the game tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Carter Bins drove a walk-off single off the mitt of Akron’s relief pitcher Davis Sharpe to give Altoona a come-from-behind 9-8 victory on Saturday night in front of a Peoples Natural
CURVE, Pa – With the bases loaded and the game tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Carter Bins drove a walk-off single off the mitt of Akron’s relief pitcher Davis Sharpe to give Altoona a come-from-behind 9-8 victory on Saturday night in front of a Peoples Natural Gas Field record 10,164 fans.
The Curve trailed 8-7 entering the ninth when Tsung-Che Cheng opened the inning with a double. Matt Gorski immediately followed with an RBI-double to tie the game before Joe Perez singled to move him to third. Matt Fraizer was intentionally walked before Sharpe struck out Andres Alvarez and retired Connor Scott on a pop out. Bins then drove the 1-0 pitch off the pitcher to win it for Altoona. It was the seventh walk-off for the Curve this season.
It is the largest attendance in Peoples Natural Gas Field history, surpassing the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Curve exhibition game played on March 30, 2013 (10,116). It also topped the previously largest attended regular season game in Altoona Curve history, a doubleheader against the Harrisburg Senators on August 10, 2003 (9,255).
“Thank you to everyone in Altoona and Central Pennsylvania for being a part of the all-time single game attendance record of 10,164 at tonight’s game,” said Altoona Curve General Manager Nate Bowen. “The Curve has a great history and to be able to break a record like this takes both a great staff and a great community. The Curve have had a great attendance season in 2023 and look forward to seeing everyone at the ballpark tomorrow and September 5-10 for our final seven home games of the season.”
Pittsburgh Pirates No. 1 overall selection Paul Skenes made his Double-A debut in the contest. Skenes struck out two batters in 0.2 innings, allowing four runs on three hits and walking two batters. He faced seven hitters and threw 33 pitches with 16 strikes.
Petey Halpin led off the game with a single to right field off Skenes before Milan Tolentino drew a walk. Skenes rattled back to strikeout Juan Brito on a 100-mph sinking fastball before Aaron Bracho snuck an RBI-single past the dive of second baseman Alvarez. Korey Holland then drove two runs home on a double that dodged third baseman Jackson Glenn before Skenes struck out Bryce Ball on a breaking ball. He walked Joe Naranjo to end his first Double-A outing.
Noe Toribio entered to throw 1.1 innings of relief, walking three and allowing one hit. His wild pitch to Connor Kokx allowed a run to cross on Skenes’s line. The Curve responded to score five runs over the first two innings off Akron starter Doug Nikhazy.
Gorski reached in the bottom of the first on a two-out fielding error by Bracho. Perez followed with an infield single that allowed Gorski to score on an interference by Bracho. Fraizer then doubled to center field to score Perez and make it a 4-2 game. Will Matthiessen knocked an RBI single in the second inning to bring the Curve within a run. In the next at-bat, Glenn plated two on a single to right field, giving the Curve a 5-4 lead.
Neither team would score again until the top of the seventh inning, when Akron brought three runs across on Curve reliever Sean Sullivan. With the bases loaded, Naranjo grounded out to Sullivan to score one run before Micael Berglund dropped a two-out, two-strike single to right field to score two runs. Sullivan tossed 5.0 innings in relief for the Curve, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Perez tied the game for Altoona in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run home run, his sixth home run in 13 games played for Altoona. Tyler Samaniego entered in the eighth and allowed a run on one hit, three walks, and one strikeout to give Akron a one-run lead and set up the dramatic ninth inning. Geronimo Franzua tossed a scoreless ninth for the Curve.
Bins, Gorski, and Perez each finished with three hits for the Curve in the series-clinching win. Altoona improved to 22-26, 56-60 on the season with the win.
The Curve finish their series with the Akron RubberDucks, Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. LHP Nick Dombkowski gets the start for Altoona, with RHP Tommy Mace on the mound for Akron.
The Curve is proud to celebrate 25 years of memories in Curve, PA throughout the 2023 season. For tickets or more information, visit AltoonaCurve.com, call 877.99. CURVE or stop by the PNG Field box office. Additionally, the Stockyard Team Store is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during every home game and online 24/7/365.