Wednesday night featured a poor air quality matchup between the Hartford Yard Goats, defending their home of Dunkin Donuts Park against the Somerset Patriots.
It was the second game of what is a six-day long series that goes until Saturday night. It was also the only pro-game that took place in the Connecticut-New York-New Jersey area, due to the unhealthy air quality caused by Canadian wildfires.
With a gray apocalyptic sky that seemed to be only feet off the ground at times, the words “Play ball.” came.
Somerset would bat first, the top three in the order featured top five Yankees’ prospects, Trey Sweeney, Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells.
During Dominguez’s at-bat, he fouled a ball off his kneecap and immediately went down in pain. The 20-year-old would pace outside of the box, occasionally grabbing his leg for a half-minute. He would walk several pitches later.
Dominguez would have an 0-for-3 line with two strikeouts and walks in five plate appearances.
The 0-for line brings his season batting average to .201 after 48 games.
The shining star of the night was undoubtedly Patriots’ starter Gray Fenter.
Fenter came in with an ERA above the 5.00 mark, after 5.2 innings of one-run ball work, he would have it lowered to a 4.62 line. Eight K’s would mark a season high for the 27-year-old in his 9th career double-AA start with the Yankees' affiliate.
Despite leaving with a Somerset lead, he would get the no-decision. Hartford rallied in the late innings to take a 5-4, led by Goats’ Bret Boswell, who had a 3-for-4 three RBI night.
A bases loaded rally would be soiled when T.J. Rumfield flew out deep to left, missing a grand slam by just inches.
With that Somerset goes 30-22 with Hartford inching closer to .500 ball at 24-28.