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Double-header Yields Double Loss for Ponies

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

Binghamton infielder Jeff McNeil blasted a pair of homers across a pair of games, but the Rumble Ponies were still swept by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium.

Game 1 - Fisher Cats 6, Rumble Ponies 5

Trailing by four entering the seventh, New Hampshire jumped on Binghamton reliever Eric Hanhold in a hurry. The Fisher Cats filled the bases with a pair of singles and a hit batter. Jonathan Davis floated an RBI single to right and Bo Bichette beat out a potential game-ending double play roller to bring in another tally.

With New Hampshire down to their final out, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. stroked a game-tying, two-run double down the left-field line. Juan Kelly pushed the Fisher Cats ahead for good by threading an RBI double through the shift into right-center.

The Rumble Ponies pushed the potential tying run to third in the ninth, but could not get over the hump. Reliever Andrew Case retired Kevin Taylor to seal his second save of the season.

The lead Binghamton lost in the seventh was earned early. Jeff McNeil set the tone by blasting a two-run homer in the first inning against New Hampshire starter Francisco Rios. The shot, his fifth of the season, put Binghamton ahead 2-0. McNeil added to the lead with an RBI single in the second.

In the sixth, Binghamton outfielder Tim Tebow stretched the lead to four with a solo home run to left field. It was his third longball of the season and second in as many games.

Scott Copeland went five innings in the no-decision for the Rumble Ponies. He struck out six and allowed one run on three hits over five innings. Handhold (2-1) gave up five runs on five hits in two innings and suffered his first blown save.

Game 2 - Fisher Cats 4, Rumble Ponies 2

McNeil continued his strong afternoon in the nightcap. After scoring the Ponies' first run in the first inning, the second baseman launched a solo homer in the third, tying the game at two.

The Fisher Cats had plated their only runs against Binghamton starter Joseph Shaw in the third. Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr supplied back-to-back run-producing hits to left to put New Hampshire on the board. Shaw surrendered six hits and struck out five over five innings in the no-decision.

New Hampshire broke the tie game in the sixth against Austin McGeorge. With two outs, Conor Panas stroked a single to right, plating Harold Ramirez from second with the go-ahead run. The Fisher Cats added an insurance run later in the inning on a wild pitch by Adonis Uceta.

Fisher Cats starter Jordan Romano (5-0) pitched into the sixth to collect his fifth straight win. He racked up six strikeouts and held the Rumble Ponies to two hits over 5-1/3 innings. Southpaw Kirby Snead retired all three lefties he faced before Justin Schafer notched the final two outs of the seventh inning.

The Rumble Ponies (13-13) conclude their four-game series against New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 PM. RHP Nabil Crismatt takes the hill against RHP Nick Tepesch. The Horizons Federal Credit Union pregame show starts at 1:50 PM and can be heard on NewsRadio 1290 WNBF and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies channel on TuneIn.

POSTGAME NOTES: Peter Alonso had his 11-game hitting streak snapped with a hitless performance in the opener…Jeff McNeil has hit a career-high six home runs this season…Binghamton was swept in a doubleheader for the first time since August 16, 2016 (vs. New Hampshire)

Courtesy: Binghamton Rumble Ponies