ERIE, PA - After both the Erie SeaWolves (16-13) and the Akron RubberDucks (14-19) combined for just nine runs through the first two games of the series, the offenses exploded on Thursday morning, at UPMC Park, with Erie ending up on top, 13-8. The SeaWolves move back to three games above .500 for the first time since April 18 and finish the seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record.
Erie Starter Anthony Castro, filling in for an IL-ridden Logan Shore, gave up two runs in the top of the first and one in the second. Then, Castro exited a batter into the third with an apparent injury, giving way to a pair of Double-A debuts in relievers Brandyn Sittinger and Billy Lescher. The latter received his first win. Erie needed to use a total of four bullpen arms, as Liarvis Breto and Trent Szkutnik combined with Sittinger and Lescher to pitch 7.0 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.
After falling behind 2-0, the SeaWolves were aided by three unearned runs coming in the bottom of the first and a three-run rally to finish the second with a 6-2 lead. Akron pushed two across in the fourth and Erie got one back in the bottom of the frame to go the fifth ahead 7-5.
The RubberDucks cut the deficit to one with an Ernie Clement solo home run in the sixth, but the SeaWolves gained more separation in the home half of the seventh. Daniel Pinero sent his fourth home run of the year, a two-run blast, off the batter's eye in straightaway center and put Erie up 9-6 entering the eighth.
A Daniel Johnson two-run homer again drew Akron within a run, but in the bottom of the eighth, Erie put the game out of reach with a four-run frame. Kade Scivicque was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and Troy Montgomery followed with a walk. After a Sergio Alcantara single loaded the bases, Derek Hill drove in two with a base hit to center and, two batters later, Jake Rogers ripped an RBI single to left. Pinero finished the scoring with an RBI fielder's choice.
Pinero finished with a team-high three RBI and Alcantara recorded his first three-hit game of the season, including a pair of doubles. Hill drove in his team-leading 16th and 17th runs of the year and Isaac Paredes extending his season-best hitting streak to six games.
Erie will hit the road tomorrow for a brief, three-game series with the Altoona Curve. RHP Casey Mize (2-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his return to PNG Field, where he threw a 9.0-inning, no-hitter on April 30. Mize will face LHP Cam Vieaux (1-2, 2.67 ERA) and the game can be heard on Fox Sports Radio AM 1330 WFNN, SeaWolves.com, the TuneIn app, or seen on MiLB.TV. Mark your calendars however, as Erie returns to UPMC Park on Monday, May 13 for their first series of 2019 versus the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.