HARRISBURG — The Harrisburg Senators defeated the Altoona Curve 7-1 Saturday night at FNB Field. Senators starter Brady Dragmire allowed one baserunner and faced just one batter over the minimum across eight shutout innings.
Yadiel Hernandez opened the scoring against Altoona starter Mitch Keller with a two-run home run in the first, his second of the season.
The Senators added a run in the second. After a Zach Collier double, Daniel Johnson hit an RBI triple into right-center field to put the Senators ahead 3-1.
Dragmire retired the first 15 batters of the game before an infield single by Stephen Alemais to lead off the sixth inning ended the perfect game. Alemais came around to score in the inning on a run-scoring groundout by Bralin Jackson. That was Altoona’s only run and baserunner of the game.
Dragmire (2-0) went a career-high eight shutout innings and allowed just the one baserunner while striking out three. The right-hander retired 24 of the 25 batters he faced and is the first Senators starter this season to pitch into the eighth inning.
“Every time I’m out there I just want to let the two-seam do its work and put groundballs in play as often and as quick as possible,” Dragmire said. “It just happened to fit that mold perfectly today.”
“He was sinking it down in the zone. He just stayed down and when he needed to he mixed in a change-up or a breaking ball,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “In most circumstances he would have finished the ballgame and he could have easily done that tonight. I’m just really happy for him.”
Keller (2-1) took the loss after allowing three runs in four innings.
The Senators broke the game open with a four-run, eight-batter seventh. Yadiel Hernandez and Taylor Gushue singled to start the inning and one batter later Kelvin Gutierrez knocked an RBI single left. The next hitter, Austin Davidson, crushed a triple into right-center to score Gushue. Following a Collier walk to put runners at first and third with one out, Dragmire lifted a sacrifice fly into right field to expand the advantage to 7-1.
Roman Mendez pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal the 7-1 win. In total, Senators pitchers set down 27 of 28 Altoona batters.
Taylor Gushue finished with a team-high three hits while Davidson and Hernandez each led the team with a pair of RBI. Gutierrez also finished 2-4 with an RBI and made a diving play to preserve what was then a perfect game with one out in the fifth.
“Kelvin was unbelievable at third base,” LeCroy said. “Our whole team’s defense was really good, we made some outstanding plays.”
Dragmire said, “Gutierrez put on an excellent show at third base.”