Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

2023 Eastern League playoffs coverage

SeaWolves able to forget about last year with perfect run to crown
September 27, 2023

Championship Series Sept. 26

Championship Series

Sept. 26

SeaWolves 10, Rumble Ponies 0
Last season was bittersweet for Detroit's Double-A affiliate. The Erie SeaWolves made it to the Eastern League Championship Series, but were no-hit in a winner-take-all Game 3 15-0 loss to the Somerset Patriots.

This season was a completely different story. Erie won all four of its playoff games, capping the run with a 10-0 victory to secure the first title in the club's history.

“This was a special team,” SeaWolves manager Gabe Alvarez said. “It’s a team that likes to compete, that likes to fight, that doesn’t like to lose, and we’ve shown that all year.”

A prime example of that toughness came during Sunday's Finals opener. Erie went down 3-0 early and fought back to take a 6-3 lead. Binghamton tied the game in the sixth, but the SeaWolves bounced back once again, winning 9-6.

In Game 2 at UPMC Park, there was no need for a comeback. Erie starting pitcher Brant Hurter shut down the Binghamton offense, fanning seven in seven scoreless innings. The No. 12 Tigers prospect held a potent Rumble Ponies lineup featuring four of the top five Mets prospects -- Luisangel Acuña (MLB No. 38), Drew Gilbert (MLB No. 52), Jett Williams (MLB No. 78) and Kevin Parada (MLB No. 89) -- to just three hits. Full story

Sept. 25

SeaWolves 9, Rumble Ponies 6
Behind the big bats of Trei Cruz and Jake Holton, Erie is headed home with two chances to clinch its first Eastern League championship.

After spotting Binghamton to a 3-0 lead, the SeaWolves stormed back to score nine runs in the final six innings in Game 1 of the best-of-3 Finals. Cruz set the tone from the leadoff spot with a triple, two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Holton brought the thump with a two-run homer in the fifth and a team-high three runs.

Binghamton got its fair share of contributions from big names as well. The Rumble Ponies' biggest hit came from MLB's No. 52 prospect Drew Gilbert, who tied the game in the sixth with a three-run homer to right field. Fifth-ranked Mets prospect Kevin Parada added three hits and an RBI while NYM No. 3 Jett Williams walked four times and crossed the plate twice.

Erie didn't wait long to reclaim the lead after Gilbert's dinger. Eliezer Alfonzo knocked an RBI double in the seventh, and the SeaWolves added two insurance runs in the ninth on a single by Daniel Cabrera and Alfonzo's sacrifice fly.

No. 28 Tigers prospect Tyler Mattison struck out two to earn a two-inning save after Blake Holub posted a hitless seventh.

Blake Tidwell (NYM No. 10) fanned seven while allowing four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and two walks over five frames in the start for Binghamton. Box score


Sept. 21

SeaWolves 7, Flying Squirrels 3

Erie will head to the Championship Series for the second straight year after sweeping its series with Richmond.

Accounting for four of the team's runs, Chris Meyers went yard twice in a game for the third time this year. The 2021 13th-round pick posted the first multihomer night for the SeaWolves in the postseason in at least 18 years.

Ty Madden struck out eight in a quality start for Erie. The sixth-ranked Tigers prospect gave up three runs on five hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings. Detroit's No. 28 prospect Tyler Mattison closed out the game by striking out five of the six batters he faced over two perfect frames.

Fourth-ranked Tigers prospect Jace Jung plated a run with a sacrifice fly and scored another while switch-hitter Trei Cruz added two hits, an RBI and a run.

Will Wilson got the Flying Squirrels on the board with a two-RBI single and Andy Thomas reached base three times and scored the run. Box score

Rumble Ponies 2, Patriots 0

Binghamton utilized a dominant start to sweep defending-champion Somerset and punch a ticket to the Finals for the first time since 2014.

In his longest career outing, Dominic Hamel fanned eight while scattering three hits and two walks across 7 2/3 scoreless innings. In over 21 innings in September, the No. 16 Mets prospect has yet to give up a run. Picking up where Hamel left off, righty Paul Gervase notched the save with 1 1/3 perfect frames.

The Patriots' hurlers were stingy as well, with Yankees No. 12 prospect Richard Fitts racking up eight strikeouts, giving up two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings.

The only runs of the game came off the bats of Luisangel Acuña and Hayden Senger. Acuña's third-inning sacrifice fly was the top Mets prospect's first postseason RBI since 2019 in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. Senger, who went yard five times over 81 games for Binghamton, hit a solo homer to left-center in the fifth. Box score

Sept. 19

Rumble Ponies 9, Patriots 2

Jett Williams and Jeremiah Jackson swung mighty bats during the fourth inning as the Rumble Ponies cruised to victory in Game 1 of the best-of-3 semifinals.

Jackson, the Mets' No. 22 prospect, kicked off the frame with his 22nd homer of the year. Binghamton followed that up with five straight hits, the last of which was a three-run shot by MLB’s No. 78 overall prospect Williams. It was the 19-year-old's first Double-A homer following his Sept. 11 callup. Williams compiled a slash line of .299/.451/.567 in 36 games with High-A Brooklyn.

Rowdey Jordan amassed a game-high three hits, including an RBI double and scored a run.

Binghamton's arms came to play as well. Christian Scott (NYM No. 12) allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts over the first three frames. Righty reliever Luis Moreno followed with five one-run frames, striking out five, to pick up the win.

Trey Sweeney proved to be a bright spot for Somerset out of the leadoff spot. The No. 9 Yankees prospect launched his 14th homer of the year and doubled for the Patriots. Box score

SeaWolves 5, Flying Squirrels 0

Erie rode some strong performances on the mound to victory in the semifinals opener.

Brant Hurter made the most of getting the start, allowing only two hits while fanning six over six frames. The No. 12 Tigers prospect did not allow a walk.

Andrew Magno and Blake Holub followed with three perfect innings. The duo didn't allow any base runners while combining for four strikeouts.

Jake Holton, Ben Malgeri and Gage Workman singled in runs for the SeaWolves in a four-run fourth. Chris Meyers added some insurance in the eighth with an RBI triple, the only extra-base hit of the game and his first of the season.

Carson Seymour (SF No. 23) took the loss after allowing four runs -- only one earned -- on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 3 1/3 frames. Spencer Bivens was strong in relief for Richmond, giving up one run on three hits without a walk and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Box score