The Erie SeaWolves (52-55) downed the Richmond Flying Squirrels (64-43), 5-1, at Jerry Uht Park on Saturday night. After Richmond had claimed the previous seven games in the season-series, Erie has now grabbed the past two. Richmond did not cede any ground to either pursuer in the Western Division as both Akron and Bowie lost as well. The Squirrels lead in the division remains 6 ½ games while they hold a 10-game cushion for a playoff spot.
Jarrett Parker put the Squirrels in front in the second inning. He led off the frame against right-hander Jeff Ferrell and belted his first pitch over the left-center field wall. Parker’s 11th home run of the season gave the Squirrels a 1-0 lead. It also marked the second time on the year that Parker had taken Ferrell deep.
The SeaWolves responded in the bottom of the second against lefty Ty Blach. Ramon Cabrera started the SeaWolves when he punched a double into the right-field corner. Francisco Martinez followed and scorched an RBI double into right-center field. Cabrera scored to knot the ballgame, 1-1.
Erie forged ahead with an unearned run in the third inning. Craig Albernaz sparked the inning with a double off the wall in left field. An out later, Devon Travis sent a ground ball to the shortstop, Kelby Tomlinson. Tomlinson elected to try to throw out Albernaz as he made for third. He made a poor throw however, and his error left runners at the corners with one out. Jason Krizan followed and grounded out to second base to bring in Albernaz for a 2-1 lead.
The SeaWolves added two runs to their lead in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Aaron Westlake, Dixon Machado and Albernaz strung together three consecutive singles at the bottom of the order. Westlake and Machado scored on Albernaz’s single for a 4-1 lead.
Erie added another run to their lead in the fifth as they scored for the fourth consecutive frame. Jason Krizan lined a double off the left-field wall with one out. An out later, Cabrera singled back through the middle to give Erie a 5-1 lead.
Blach (7-5) departed to the loss – his fifth – after 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with five runs, four earned, on a season-high nine hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Ferrell (7-7) kept the Squirrels off balance for the remainder of his night and earned the win over seven innings. He allowed just the lone run on six hits, walked none and struck out six.
Right-hander Bryan Augenstein worked the eighth inning for Erie and handed it off to right Angel Nesbitt who handled the ninth.
The finale of the four-game series is scheduled for 1:35 on Sunday afternoon at Jerry Uht Park. Richmond LHP Jack Snodgrass (9-3, 2.99) will make the start against Erie LHP Kyle Ryan (6-10, 4.81). The Flying Squirrels Pregame Warmupbegins at 1:05 p.m. on Sports Radio 910 and SportsRadio910.com.