The SeaWolves won their second straight game, taking down the Akron RubberDucks 5-3 in the series opener on Thursday night at UPMC Park.
The SeaWolves struck first in their opening frame against Ducks starter Matt Whitehouse. Dawel Lugo connected on a two-out, opposite field solo home run for a 1-0 lead. It was Lugo's sixth home run since joining the SeaWolves.
Erie added to the lead in the second, once again with two outs. Gabriel Quintana doubled and scored on a Zack Cox base hit for a 2-0 lead.
The SeaWolves extended their lead in the fifth. Quintana blasted a leadoff home run to left-center for a 3-0 lead. With two outs, A.J. Simcox homered off the scoreboard in right-center, his seventh, for a 4-0 lead. Mike Gerber followed with a walk and scored from first on a Lugo double down the left field line, capping the Erie scoring for the night.
The RubberDucks got on the board in the seventh against Erie starter Tyler Alexander. Yu Chang led off with a single and Eric Haase was hit by a pitch. Dorrsys Paulino hit into a fielder's choice as Simcox fielded the ground ball and threw out the lead runner at third. Tyler Krieger tripled home Haase and Paulino, cutting the Erie lead to 5-2. Todd Hankins lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Krieger making it 5-3. After a Greg Allen double to put the tying run at the plate, Erie brought in Adam Ravenelle who struck out Joe Sever, ending the Akron threat.
The Erie bullpen would then take over as Victor Alcantara worked a perfect eighth and Paul Voelker worked a perfect ninth, preserving the win. Voelker earned his seventh save.
Alexander (8-8) earned the win allowing three runs on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work. He improved his record at UPMC Park to 6-1 in 10 starts.
Whitehouse (7-8) got the loss, giving up five runs on eight hits and a walk and a strikeout in 4.2 innings.
The SeaWolves and RubberDucks meet in the second game of the series on Friday night at UPMC Park at 7:05 p.m. RHP A.J. Ladwig (7-6, 5.27 ERA) will take the mound for Erie against RHP Shane Bieber (2-1, 2.86 ERA).
Friday is Alternative Facts Night. The first 1,000 fans receive a 2016 Erie SeaWolves replica Eastern League Championship Ring as the team takes full advantage of truthful hyperbole throughout the night. Fans can enjoy Happy Hour featuring $2 drink specials in the Bud Light Beer Garden until first pitch.
It's the final Fauxback Friday of the season. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on game-worn fauxback jerseys with proceeds from the auction benefiting the Partnership for Erie's Public Schools.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.