LEADING OFFThe Harrisburg Senators' season-opening road trip ended with a whimper Wednesday night thanks to at New Britain Stadium.Harrisburg (1-5) slumped through the opening two series and, through the Eastern League's first week, own the worst record. But after splitting a pair of games against the host Rock Cats (3-3), the Senators finally return to City Island for Thursday's night's home opener, 7 p.m. at Metro Bank Park against Reading.Brian Daubach's club had its chances Wednesday night, including a golden opportunity in the eighth, but New Britain's bullpen matched the scoreless work put in by Harrisburg relievers Zach Jackson and Tyler Herron. And the host's defense was better, allowing the Rock Cats to prevail.The teams traded offensive blows early on, the Rock Cats snagging a 3-0 lead in the first on Kennys Vargas' three-run blast off Blake Schwartz (0-2).Harrisburg answered in the second with three runs, with Brandon Bantz delivering a two-run single and Michael Taylor an RBI infield single.The Senators had their first lead in the third after a triple by Jason Martinson (3-for-4) and an RBI single by Destin Hood (2-for-4), but New Britain battled back to tie it in the fourth on Brad Boyer's RBI single and take the lead in the fifth when Vargas crossed on a throwing error.Pat Dean (2-0) survived those four runs in six innings to pocket the win for New Britain, and A.J. Achter struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first save.Jackson and Herron combined for 3.1 scoreless frames behind Schwartz.TURNING POINTAfter Jackson benefitted from having two runners thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, New Britain got its revenge in the eighth with Jim Fuller on the mound. Martinson singled to begin the frame and took second on a Hood grounder. With two outs, Caleb Ramsey singled sharply to center, and Martinson was waved home. But the throw from CF Corey Wimberly to C Kyle Knudson was perfect, and the tag just pegged the would-be tying runner.PENNLIVE MVP RACE1. SS Jason Martinson (2 points) -- 3-for-4, two runs, triple, now batting .409Senators broadcaster Terry Byrom selected tonight's MVP.
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