SeaWolves Score Six Unanswered, Win in Comeback Against Binghamton
After a slow start, the bats lit up for the Howlers.
The Erie SeaWolves got off to a painfully slow start on August 10, resembling the dismal offense against Trenton two nights ago. However, a turnaround for the Howlers following the seventh inning stretch led to six unanswered runs. With momentum on their side and 4,755 fans behind them, the SeaWolves went on to a 6-4 victory.
Following a quiet first inning, Mets first baseman Rhyne Hughes hit a solo home run to right field off of right-handed pitcher Drew VerHagen (2-3, 2.40). Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and center fielder Alonzo Harris both scored on a single from second baseman Daniel Muno after being walked. The SeaWolves offense didn't produce any runs in response against Mets righty Noah Snydergaard (5-0, 1.98). After two, the Howlers were down 3-0.
Righty David Kopp took the mound for the SeaWolves in the fourth. He pitched a three-up, three-down inning for Erie, but like VerHagen, the offense didn't score any runs to support him. In the fifth, Tovar scored his second run of the night to build on Binghamton's lead. Hughes grounded into the final out with the bases loaded, keeping the deficit at a somewhat manageable four runs. Another failed attempt at getting on the board for the Howlers had them down 4-0 going into the sixth.
The Mets pulled Snydergaard after five scoreless innings, and righty Armando Rodriguez was on the hill for Binghamton. Once again, the Howler's offense failed to produce. The top of the seventh saw a pitching change for the SeaWolves, as lefty Will Startup came in for Kopp with one out already on the board and runners on first and second. The Eastern League all-star got Erie out of the inning unscathed.
The bats finally lit up for the SeaWolves after the seventh inning stretch, when third baseman Wade Gaynor doubled to score left fielder Tyler Collins. Gaynor and catcher James McCann scored off first baseman James Robbins. Robbins crushed a home run to right, and the SeaWolves were riding that momentum into the eighth inning with the game even at four.
Startup struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth, and he continued to get run support. Designated Hitter Ramon Cabrera doubled to score center fielder Daniel Fields. The 5-4 lead was the SeaWolves' first of the night. The scoring continued when Gaynor earned his third RBI of the night with a squeeze bunt that brought home Cabrera. Melvin Mercedes took the mound in the ninth, and pitched a three up three down inning to seal the deal.
Mercedes earned his eighth save of the season, and Startup won the game for the SeaWolves. Startup threw a perfect inning and two thirds, preventing a hit or a walk and striking out two. Rodriguez lost the game for the Mets, who fall to 74-46, but still maintain a comfortable lead in the eastern division. The SeaWolves are sharing the driver's seat of the western division with Harrisburg at 63-55. The Howlers' last game of this home stretch is against Binghamton on Aug. 11 at 1:35 p.m.
Adam Unger can be contacted at aUnger@ErieReader.com.