big innings push erie seawolves past richmond flying squirrels in playoff opener
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Big innings push Erie Seawolves past Richmond Flying Squirrels in playoff opener

Richmond Flying SquirrelsA four-run fifth inning and strong pitching lifted the Erie SeaWolves to a 9-3 win over the Richmond Flying Squirrels in Game 1 of the Eastern League Southwest Division Series on Tuesday night at UPMC Park.

With the win, the SeaWolves have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

Brandon Martorano gave the Flying Squirrels a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to center field in the top of the second inning against Erie starter Reese Olson (Win, 1-0).

The SeaWolves responded in the bottom of the second with an RBI double by Gage Workman and took a 2-1 lead in the third with an RBI single by Quincy Nieporte.

Richmond starter Kyle Harrison (Loss, 0-1) used 71 pitches in three innings of work, allowing two runs. He struck out nine batters, tying the Flying Squirrels’ postseason record, for all nine outs he recorded.

Wil Jenson entered in the fourth and worked around a lead-off single for a scoreless inning, but the SeaWolves poured four runs across against him in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. Dane Myers and Andrew Navigato hit back-to-back doubles to bring home a run. With the bases loaded and one out, Josh Crouch grounded into a 5-2-3 double play, but with two outs, Danny Serretti launched a three-run homer to push the SeaWolves’ lead to five.

In the top of the sixth, Casey Schmiit stepped up with two runners on and singled to left, but Myers threw out Diego Rincones at the plate to prevent a run. Marco Luciano, playing his first game with Richmond, hit an RBI single later in the inning to close the score to 6-2.

Richmond relievers Chris Wright and Blake Rivera combined to cover two scoreless innings across the sixth and seventh, striking out two each.

The SeaWolves brought in three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to extend their lead to 9-2. Reliever John Gavin issued two walks to put runners on first and second. With two outs, Myers reached on an infield single and both runners scored. Two batters later, Parker Meadows drove an RBI single to cap the three-run inning.

Richmond brought home a run in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch, but Gerson Moreno recorded the final three outs to close the game.

The Flying Squirrels went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base.

Olson set a SeaWolves postseason record with nine strikeouts in his start, allowing one run on four hits over five innings. Brendan White and Yaya Chentauf combined for three innings of work without allowing an earned run.

Game 2 of the series will be on Thursday night at The Diamond. Right-hander Keaton Winn will start for Richmond, opposed by Erie right-hander Ty Madden. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

Tickets for all possible Flying Squirrels postseason games are available online at SquirrelsBaseball.com, by phone at 804-359-3866 or in person at the Flying Squirrels ticket office.