September 3, 2007 - Eastern League (EL) - Altoona Curve
ALTOONA- Erie scored in each of the first three innings and Jeff Larish added the exclamation point as the SeaWolves blasted the Curve, 9-4, to claim the Eastern League's Southern Division title.
Already leading 4-2, the SeaWolves put the game away with five runs in the sixth inning. Pat Bresnehan walked the first two batters of the inning and permitted a single to Matt Joyce to load the bases before departing in favor of Ronald Belisario. Belisario was greeted by Larish who belted a grand slam over the wall in right field. The home run was Larish's 28th of the year and also helped him eclipse the 100-RBI plateau. Larish also scored to cap Erie's scoring on a Will Rhymes sacrifice fly.
Erie's victory effectively ended the Curve's season as it eliminated Akron from title contention and rendered a scheduled game two irrelevent.
Yoslan Herrera made the start and endured hard times early for the Curve. The SeaWolves jumped on him immediately, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Danny Worth singled to start the rally. Joyce followed with an RBI double to score Worth with the game's first run. Larish singled to move Joyce to third, and he scored from there on a passed ball charged to Brian Peterson.
The Curve got a run back off of Erie starter Dallas Tahern in the second as Javier Guzman singled home Jason Delaney. Erie got that run right back in the bottom of the inning however, as Worth delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to score Rhymes and give Erie a 3-1 advantage.
Mike Hernandez made it 4-1 with a towering solo home run to right field off of Herrera in the third inning.
Peter Bergeron contributed an RBI single for the Curve in the fifth inning, and the Curve scored their final runs of the year in the seventh as Jason Bowers sent a massive two-run home run to left field to cap the Altoona scoring.
Trahern did not last long enough in the ballgame to qualify for the win, and the victory instead went to reliever Matt Rusch. Rusch (6-1) turned in 1 1/3 scoreless innings to win for the sixth time.
Herrera (6-9) was tagged with the loss in his final start of the year, permitting four runs on six hits over three innings.
Erie will square off against the Akron Aeros in the Eastern League Southern Divisional Series beginning on Wednesday at Jerry Uht Park.