SeaWolves Win Sixth Straight, Down Squirrels in 10
The SeaWolves used another superb starting pitching performance as they outlasted the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 6-2, in 10 innings at The Diamond. Erie has now won a season-high six straight games.
Erie starter Tarik Skubal, in his third Double-A start, was on point from the outset. He retired the first nine batters of the game, six on strikeouts.
In the top of the fourth, Bryce Johnson led off with a walk and stole second. Skubal retired the next three hitters to keep the Squirrels off the scoreboard.
Skubal worked around a two-out triple in the fifth and retired the side in order in the sixth. He took the no-decision hurling six shutout frames, allowing one hit with a walk while striking out a career-high 13 batters. Skubal has struck out 34 hitters in 16 innings of work with the SeaWolves and is the first pitcher in team history to strike out at least 10 batters in his first three starts.
Richmond starter Brandon Lawson was lights out as well. He retired the first 10 batters he faced before walking Isaac Paredes in the fourth. The lone hit he allowed came in the seventh innings as Jose Azocar broke up a no-hit bid with a base hit to left. Erie would go on to strand two runners in scoring position in the frame.
Lawson also took a no-decision firing eight scoreless, allowing one hit with three walks and three strikeouts.
Reliever Jose Fernandez spelled Skubal in the bottom of the seventh. He worked a 1-2-3 frame but ran into trouble in the eighth when Johneshwy Fargas led off with a triple. With one out, Jonah Arenado sent a rocket to short with the infield in. Sergio Alcantara backhanded the ball on a hop and threw out Fargas trying to score. Fernandez would keep the Squirrels off the scoreboard in the ninth, sending the game into extras.
Erie finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the 10th inning against Squirrels reliever Sam Moll. Frank Schwindel was the free runner at second and Kody Eaves led off with a bleeder through the right side, putting runners on the corners. Josh Lester put Erie ahead on a sinking line drive to center, scoring Schwindel for a 1-0 lead. Cam Gibson then laid down a bunt and beat it out for an infield single, loading the bases for Alcantara. Alcantara send a shot to second and on a Jalen Miller error, both Eaves and Lester sored for a 3-0 lead. Joey Morgan followed with a safety squeeze, bringing home Gibson for a 4-0 lead. Derek Hill singled to push Alcantara to third, giving Erie runners on the corners. Isaac Paredes brought home Alcantara on a fielder's choice for a 5-0 lead. Azocar capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Hill for a 6-0 advantage.
In the last of the 10th, Zac Houston entered for Erie. Gio Brusa doubled home the free runner at second to make it 6-1. With one out, Howard sent a bouncer to first and on a Lester error, Brusa scored to make it 6-2. Arenado then singled, putting the tying run into the on-deck circle. Houston battled back and struck out the final two hitters, preserving the Erie win.
Fernandez (1-0) earned the win tossing three scoreless, allowing two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
Moll (1-2) took the loss allowing six runs, three earned, on four hits.
The SeaWolves will look for seven straight wins on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. RHP Anthony Castro (3-2, 4.11 ERA) takes the mound for Erie against LHP Caleb Baragar (2-3, 3.28 ERA).
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