Navigato Blasts Ninth Inning Home Run in Season Finale
The Erie SeaWolves closed the 2021 regular season with a loss on Sunday afternoon at UPMC Park, narrowly avoiding a shutout by the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 3-1. Erie ends their season with a 64-55 record.
It was a dueling shutout until the ninth inning when Richmond finally broke through for the lead.
The afternoon saw Akeel Morris spin five scoreless innings for Richmond, stranding two different runners at third base along the way. Morris walked only one batter and tied a career high with 10 strikeouts.
Out of the bullpen, Richmond handed the next four innings to four different relievers. Ryan Walker, Joey Marciano, and R.J. Dabovich each tossed scoreless innings to maintain the shutout into the ninth.
In the ninth inning, Andrew Navigato blasted a solo home run with two outs against Patrick Ruotolo (Sv, 11) to break the shutout.
Erie also got five scoreless innings from their starter. Elvin Rodriguez, making just his second start back from a stint on the Injured List, only allowed one walk and two hits, and did not allow a runner to reach third base.
Jesus Rodriguez piggybacked for Erie, and opened with three perfect innings to send the scoreless tie into the ninth inning, but he had no chance in his second trip through the lineup. Rodriguez (L, 2-5) allowed a single, a walk, and an RBI double by David Villar to start the ninth, forcing his removal. Zack Hess allowed both of his inherited runners to score on a Sandro Fabian double, putting the game out of reach for Erie.
The SeaWolves will look ahead to the 2022 season, beginning on April 8 at UPMC Park with a three-game series against the Akron RubberDucks. To begin work on the offseason, the Erie SeaWolves Team Store will be closed on Monday, September 20, and will reopen on Tuesday, September 21 at 10:00 am.
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