In a back-and-fourth affair, the Rocket City Trash Pandas couldn’t climb all the way back from an early deficit in an 8-4 loss to the Montgomery Biscuits in the fifth game of their six-game series at Riverwalk Stadium on Saturday night.
Following a one, two, three first inning from starter Sean Hunley, the Biscuits quickly took the lead in the bottom half. Brett Wisely led off with a single against Trash Pandas righty Mason Erla (L, 4-6). Kameron Misner walked, and Kyle Manzardo drove them all in with a three-run homer to left-center, his fifth of the season to give the Biscuits the early 3-0 advantage.
The Trash Pandas responded in the top of the third. Kevin Maitan began the frame with a single and Kyren Paris made it a one-run game with his third Double-A home run in eight games, a two-run blast high off the scoreboard in left field.
Montgomery got the runs right back in the bottom of the fourth on Roberto Alvarez’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Wisely to take a 5-2 lead. Again, the Trash Pandas fought back. Aaron Whitefield reached with a one-out walk. Logan O’Hoppe then continued his torrid pace with a long two-run homer of his own to left, his 10th in 24 games with the Trash Pandas and 25th overall on the season, to make it a 5-4 game.
The Biscuits continued the barrage of runs in the inning. Diego Infante’s two-run double restored the three-run lead at 7-4, and he came around to score on Johan Lopez’s sacrifice fly, doubling the Biscuits score to 8-4 after five. That would bring an end to Erla’s night. Over 4.2 innings, he suffered allowed eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits with four walks and eight strikeouts to suffer the loss, his third in a row.
Hunley (W, 7-1) pitched five innings for the Biscuits, giving up four runs on six hits with six strikeouts to pick up the victory. In relief for Montgomery, Carlos Garcia threw two clean innings. Justin Sterner ended the game with two scoreless innings of his own.
Trash Pandas reliever Glenn Albanese kept the deficit at four with 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out three. In his first outing since August 12, Zach Linginfelter pitched a clean bottom of the eighth.
Offensively, O’Hoppe and Paris led the way with their two-run homers while Maitan added a pair of hits in the loss.
The Trash Pandas (77-54, 36-27 second half) wrap up their series with the Biscuits (66-58, 38-24 second half) on Sunday afternoon. First…