SeaWolves Fail to Sweep Thunder in Extras
Thunder defeat SeaWolves in 5-1 embarrasing loss.
The Erie SeaWolves failed to take out the brooms against the Trenton Thunder on August 8 in what was arguably the worst game of the year for the Howlers' offense. They struck out a season-high 20 times and failed to get a base hit after the sixth inning. Right-handed pitcher Warwick Saupold was the only reason it took 11 innings for the Thunder to win by a score of 5-1.
The SeaWolves' first inning showed promise when Saupold pitched a three-up, three-down first inning. Designated Hitter Ramon Cabrera doubled off of Trenton's starter, Mikey O'Brien (6-6, 4.02) in the bottom of the first to score right fielder Jamie Johnson. This would end up being the Howlers' only run. Three runners were left on base after the first inning, and a total of 10 were stranded.
Saupold and the defense bailed the Seawolves out throughout the game, highlighted by Saupold's eight scoreless innings. He allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out four. A 7-2 double play made by catcher James McCann in the third was also a key play that helped shut out the Thunder through eight innings. Left Fielder Luis Castillo had the assist on the play, catching the fly to left and throwing to home in plenty of time.
After Saupold walked Thunder third baseman Reegie Corona, righty Michael Morrison came in for him in the top of the ninth. With two down, first baseman Kyle Roller singled to score Corona. Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Howlers' lead was now a 1-1 tie. The game went to extras when shortstop Eugenio Suarez struck out for the fifth time when right fielder Jamie Johnson was on third.
In the top of the 10th, a wild pitch sent Thunder shortstop Carmen Angelini to third with Corona at the plate, but Castillo made a leaping catch in deep left center to keep it tied for the struggling offense. However, the Howlers went three up, three down for Thunder righty Tommy Kahnle, who contributed four strikeouts and only walked one through two innings.
The bases were loaded for Trenton and there were two outs in the 11th. Morrison was replaced by left-handed Ryan Robowski, who allowed a grand slam to Angelini. Angelini scored Corona, designated hitter Slade Heathcott, and second baseman Jose Pirela. The Howlers went three-up, three-down for the fifth time in the game to lead to the 5-1 final, the Thunder's 60th win.
Morrison lost the game for Erie with a blown save attempt, while Danny Burawa will be credited with the win. The SeaWolves (61-54) lost their lead in the western division, and lost most, if not all, of their momentum heading into a four-game series with the Binghamton Mets.
The Mets lead the Eastern League with a 73-44 record and are visiting the Howlers in a double header Friday, August 9 at 5:05 p.m., Saturday, August 10 at 7:05 p.m., and Sunday, August 11 at 1:35 p.m.
Adam Unger can be contacted at aUnger@ErieReader.com.