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Scorching Senators: Harrisburg boasts best record in professional baseball

Harrisburg Senators

First baseman Drew Ward drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the top of the eighth last night as the Harrisburg Senators defeated Altoona 5-4 for their seventh straight victory while improving to 16-2 on the young season.

Harrisburg, the AA affiliate of the Washington Nationals in the venerable Eastern League, currently owns the best record in all of professional baseball, major and minor league alike.

The Senators, who compete in the Eastern League’s Western Division, currently enjoy a 6 ½ game lead over the second-place Erie SeaWolves, the Detroit Tigers’ AA franchise. Erie lost yesterday, dropping a 2-1 decision to Bowie.

While leading the league in base hits and home runs, Harrisburg has quite a few offensive weapons at its disposal, not the least of which is catcher Tres Barrera. Playing in his first season at the Double-A level, the 24-year-old Texan is the second hottest hitter in the league, batting at a .400 clip through eighteen games.

Right-fielder Rhett Wiseman has also been burning up the base paths with a .345 average while leading the Senators in home runs with eight. Second baseman Austin Davidson is currently batting .333 and first baseman Drew Ward, who drove in the winning run against the Altoona Curve last night, is hitting just below the .300 mark while leading the team with 18 RBIs.

Led by right-hander Wil Crowe of Sevierville, Tennessee, Harrisburg’s pitching staff also appears quite formidable. Crowe (2-0) has a 1.17 ERA while striking out twenty-one and allowing just three runs in four starts.

Harrisburg leads the league with the lowest ERA at 2.19 and has given up the second fewest number of walks.

The Senators are managed by former major league catcher Matthew LeCroy, who is in his second stint with the AA affiliate after serving as the bullpen coach for the Washington Senators in 2014 and 2015.

Harrisburg, which finished third in the Western Division with a 72-65 record last season, last captured the Eastern League championship in 1999.

Darcy G. Richardson is a historian and the author of more than a dozen books. His latest is Loyola's Improbable Ramblers: 55 Years in the Making, available now on Amazon.

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