Casey Sadler came up big for the Altoona Curve Thursday night in front of the home faithful as he threw a complete game against Bowie in their first game in a four-game series.
In what is the most important series of the season, Sadler shined by throwing only the sixth complete game by a Curve pitcher since 2005. It was also a career-best for Sadler eclipsing the eight innings he threw on May 6, 2013 for Altoona.
Sadler gave up a run to Bowie in the third inning, however, the Curve got the lead back for good in the fifth on the heels of Jin-De-Jhang’s triple. De-Jhang scored on a Michael Suchy sac-fly before Elvis Escobar scored on a Jordan George sac-fly.
The right-handed Sadler scattered seven hits through nine innings, walked one, struck out seven, and improved his record to 2-3 with the win.
The win gave Altoona its 28th come-from-behind victory of the season and pushes the Curve nine games over .500 with 11 games left in the season.
Peaking at the right time
The victory over Bowie Thursday night gave Altoona its fifth straight win and helped push the Curve to a two-game lead over the Baysox atop the Western division. Altoona has gone 6-1 in their last seven games including their win over Bowie.
With three games left against the Baysox, the Curve will need all the wins they can get as the playoffs loom near, only a little over a week away. The win against Bowie was only the fourth victory in 16 games for the Curve against the Baysox this season.
Following the series against Bowie, Altoona heads to Richmond for four games before returning home to take on Harrisburg for the last series of the season.
Push for playoff positioning
The Curve have not quite clinched a playoff spot as Akron is only six games while Erie is only seven games behind as they enter the last week and a half of the regular seaosn. On the Eastern side of the E.L. it will be Trenton, who has already clinched a playoff spot, and most likely Binghamton who will be taking on one of the teams from the Western division.
No team has been eliminated from playoff contention in the Western division although Richmond and Harrisburg look to be eliminated some time this weekend.
Altoona and Bowie sit atop the division while the RubberDucks and Sea Wolves lurk in the distance teetering the line between elimination and becoming playoff eligible.
Only the top two teams in each division will make the playoffs, with the top seeds in each facing off against each other as well as the second seeds playing each other in the first round. From there, the winners will play each other for the E.L. Championship.
The Altoona Curve take on Bowie in game two of their four-game series Friday night at 6pm. Pitching for the Curve will be J.T. Brubaker (7-4, 4.47 ERA) while David Hess (10-8, 4.13 ERA) gets the ball for the Baysox. Saturday’s match-up features Altoona’s Brandon Waddell (3-3, 3.88 ERA) facing off against John Means (9-8, 4.24 ERA). The fourth and final game will have Mitch Keller (1-1, 3.13 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Curve against Yefry Ramirez (3-0, 4.58 ERA).
Altoona hits the road for a series against Richmond before returning home next weekend to face Harrisburg.