Fantastic Flexen Foils Yard Goats, 7-5
HARTFORD, CT – Chris Flexen racked up ten strikeouts and tossed six innings of one-run ball to power the Binghamton Rumble Ponies past the Hartford Yard Goats, 7-5, on Thursday night at Dunkin Donuts Park. Matt Oberste drove in three runs to support the pitching staff’s season-high 15-strikeout performance. Binghamton pounded out a dozen hits to secure the series split.
Flexen opened his fourth career Double-A start by striking out the side in the first. The righty retired the first 13 Yard Goats he faced, a stretch that included seven strikeouts.
The Rumble Ponies offense supported him with a five-run third inning. With two aboard, Luis Guillorme drove an RBI double off the left-field wall against starter Konner Wade. Matt Oberste followed by poking a run-producing single to right. Wade was pulled after walking David Thompson, and LJ Mazzilli greeted reliever Troy Neiman by floating a single down the right-field line. Oberste and Thompson scored on the drive before Kevin Kaczmarski scampered home when Drew Weeks’ throw from right skipped away.
Hartford snapped Flexen’s roll with one out in the fifth when Jan Vazquez hit a home run to right. Flexen shook off the long ball and put down the final five hitters he faced, capping his night with back-to-back strikeouts.
Oberste provided a pair of insurance runs down the stretch, homering in the seventh and providing an RBI single in the ninth.
After Flexen departed, the Yard Goats mounted a rally in the seventh, getting the first four aboard against Corey Taylor. Hartford pushed three runs across and cut the Ponies lead down to two. Ben Griset notched the final two outs of the seventh before fanning Max White to start the eighth.
Cory Burns took over and posted a pair of outs to preserve the lead. After the Ponies Oberste’s single in the ninth, Josh Fuentes took Burns deep to left. Burns bounced back and fanned Dillon Thomas to lock down his seventh save.
Flexen (3-1) tossed six innings in his first start back from the disabled list. He retired 18 of the 19 batters he faced and reached double digits in strikeouts for the fifth time in his career.
The Rumble Ponies (41-33) return home to start a four-game series against the Harrisburg Senators on Friday at 7:05 PM. RHP Mickey Jannis takes the mound against RHP Taylor Hill.
Tickets for Binghamton’s entire home schedule can be purchased at the NYSEG Stadium box office, online on www.bingrp.com and over the phone at (607) 722-FUNN.