The first place Erie SeaWolves took down the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the series opener on Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 4-2. The win, coupled with a Bowie win in Richmond, keeps the SeaWolves at two games ahead of the Baysox in the Western Division race.
The SeaWolves jumped ahead in the top of the first against starter Yennsy Diaz. Derek Hill and Isaac Paredes started the game with back-to-back base hits. Jose Azocar followed and sent a bouncer to the pitcher and on an errant throw, Hill scored for a 1-0 lead. Josh Lester reached on a fielder's choice that moved Paredes to third and he scored on a Kody Eaves groundout for a 2-0 lead.
Erie added to the lead in the fourth as Chace Numata blasted his third home run of the season, extending his hitting streak to a season-high nine straight games, giving Erie a 3-0 advantage.
The 'Wolves then went ahead 4-0 in the top of the fifth. Lester reached on a two-out walk and scored on an Eaves triple.
SeaWolves starter Matt Manning was in control as he began the game retiring the first eight hitters, five on strikeouts. The first man to reach was in the last of the third when Vinny Capra got on base on an error. The first base hit Manning allowed was on a one-out single by Chad Spanberger in the fourth. He struck out the next two hitters to get out of the inning with no damage.
The lone run Manning allowed came in the home half of the fifth. Christian Williams reached on a one-out error and moved into scoring position on a Brock Lundquist single. Forrest wall singled home Williams making it 4-1.
Manning gave up a leadoff single in the sixth and then retired the side in order. He struck out his 10th batter in the frame, equaling his career-high which he has done now three times in 2019.
Erie reliver Wladimir Pinto struck out the side in the seven in relief of Manning.
The Cats final run came in the eighth off of reliever Drew Carlton. Josh Palacios connected on a one-out solo home run, cutting the Erie lead down to a pair of runs. Carlton would strike out two in the frame and worked a 1-2-3 ninth, earning his 15th save in as many chances.
Manning (10-4) earned his second straight win against the Cats in hurling his third straight quality start. He allowed an unearned run on four hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings.
Diaz (8-8) took the loss for the Cats allowing four runs, three earned, on seven hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in six innings.
The SeaWolves will look for back-to-back wins and a series win on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. LHP Joey Wentz (1-0, 1.80 ERA) takes the mound for Erie against RHP Nate Pearson (0-4, 2.82 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.