The Trenton Thunder spoiled the SeaWolves season opener on Saturday afternoon, 6-2, at UPMC Park.
The two teams started the afternoon with a pitchers duel as both Erie's Tyler Alexander and Trenton's Chance Adams were on point in their first starts of 2017. Alexander hurled five scoreless frames, allowing four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in five innings of work.
Trenton broke a scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning against Erie reliever Sean Donatello. Thairo Estrada and Gleyber Torres led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Mike Ford doubled home the baserunners for a 2-0 Thunder lead. With two outs in the inning, Dante Bichette, Jr. lifted a two-run, opposite field home run over the wall in right for a 4-0 lead.
The Thunder carried a combined no-hit bid into the Erie half of the eighth. Reliever Caleb Frare walked Grayson Greiner to start the inning and issued a one-out walk to A.J. Simcox, turning the lineup over to Jason Krizan. Krizan broke up the no-hitter with a single up the middle, loading the bases for Jeff McVaney. McVaney singled home Greiner and Simcox, cutting the Trenton lead in half at 4-2.
In the top of the ninth, Trenton would put the game out of reach against reliever Ruben Alaniz. With one out, Zach Zehner and Francisco Dias connected on back-to-back singles. With two outs, Estrada singled home Zehner to make it 5-2. Alaniz walked Torres to load the bases and issued a bases-loaded walk to Ford, plating Diaz to make it 6-2 Thunder.
Erie would go quietly in the ninth against J.P. Feyereisen who picked up his first save of the season.
Adams (1-0) tossed 5.2 scoreless, hitless innings for Trenton in the winning effort, allowing four walks while striking out five.
Donatello (0-1) took the loss allowing four runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts in an inning of relief.
The SeaWolves and Thunder will play a doubleheader on Sunday at UPMC Park beginning at 12:35 p.m. RHP Artie Lewicki starts for the SeaWolves in game one against RHP Yefry Ramirez. Game two features LHP Josh Turley against LHP Daniel Camarena.
Sunday is a Kids Crew day presented by Giant Eagle and Star 104. All kids crew members receive free admission. The first 500 fans receive a Wendy's Scratch & Win card. Every card is a winner. Erie Federal Credit Union members can use their Platinum MasterCard, debit card, or show their member ID to buy a regularly priced Sunday ticket and receive a voucher for a free Smith's hot dog and fountain drink with each ticket purchased (limit 4 per member). Must be presented at time of purchase. All fans can bring your glove and a baseball to play catch on the field after the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.