Walk-off Victory for Howlers in Souza's Return

Categories:  BloggERy    Sports
Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 at 8:46 AM
Walk-off Victory for Howlers in Souza's Return by Adam Unger
Ryan Smith

In a low-scoring game that featured two lefty starters, the Erie SeaWolves kicked off their home stretch with a 3-2 victory over the Trenton Thunder on August 6. The SeaWolves started the night with Ramon Garcia (0-2, 6.11 ERA) on the hill, while Nik Turley (8-6, 3.99 ERA) was on the mound for the Thunder. SeaWolves’ right-handed pitcher Justin Souza earned the win in his return to Jerry Uht Park after a stint with the Detroit Tigers’ AAA affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens. The Howlers were happy to have him back, as he was a key factor in the thrilling victory.

Erie was on the board first in the bottom of the second when left fielder Tyler Collins scored off of a double from third baseman Wade Gaynor. Collins was average offensively during the Howlers’ road trip through Reading, Pa. and New Britain, Conn., hitting 7-for-26 (.269 AVG) with no home runs and only one RBI. However, he performed solidly at home tonight, hitting 2-for-4 and scoring a run. Gaynor hit 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The Thunder did not score until the sixth inning when center fielder Slade Heathcott tripled to score left fielder Ramon Flores. Heathcott scored on the following play when catcher Gary Sanchez hit a ground rule double, giving the Thunder their first lead of the night. Sanchez was left on third base when Garcia struck out his last batter of the night before being relieved by right-handed pitcher Tyler Stohr. Garcia ended the night with six strikeouts, a walk, two earned runs, and four hits. After six, the Thunder led 2-1.

Stohr was replaced by Souza after pitching two solid innings and keeping the SeaWolves in the game. Souza pitched a three-up, three-down inning for the Howlers, striking out two of the batters he faced. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs already on the board, right fielder Jamie Johnson scored second baseman Marcus Lemon with a single. An error committed by the Thunder allowed Johnson to get to second base. With Johnson in scoring position, shortstop Eugenio Suarez came through, scoring Johnson on a single for the walk-off win.

Right-handed closer Danny Burawa lost the game for Trenton, missing out on the save opportunity. The SeaWolves’ (60-53) second straight win is the 60th of their season, and they cling to a slim lead over the Harrisburg Senators in the western division. On the other hand, Trenton drops to 59-56, falling 13 games back to the Binghamton Mets, who are visiting the SeaWolves from August 9 to 11.

The Howlers are in action again Wednesday night against Trenton at 7:05 p.m., and again on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.


Adam Unger can be contacted at aUnger@ErieReader.com.

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