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SeaWolves stun Squirrels in eighth

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richmond flying squirrelsThe Erie SeaWolves (54-74) erased a 2-0 deficit with a four-run eighth inning, en route to a 4-2 win over Richmond (54-73) on Monday night at Jerry Uht Park. The Squirrels controlled the contest for most of the night and received six solid innings from starting pitcher Sam Coonrod. Coonrod allowed just three hit and struck out six in a difficult no-decision. Rodolfo Martinez was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs and four hits in the decisive eighth inning.

Despite pitching in the usually hitter-friendly Jerry Uht Park, both starters were able to keep the ball down and limit the offense early on. Erie left-hander Tyler Alexander was nearly flawless through the first three innings on Monday night at the Uht. Alexander struck out a pair of batters in the first and one more in the second. The lefty worked around a two-out double in the third and faced on batter over the minimum heading into the fourth inning.

Squirrels righty Sam Coonrod was also sharp, despite pitching with runners for most of the night. Coonrod worked around a two-out walk in the first and a double in the second inning. The righty stranded two more runners in the third, navigating around four total runners over the first three frames.

Richmond struck first against Alexander in the fourth inning and added a run in the fifth for a 2-0 lead. Brandon Bednar doubled to start the fourth, advanced to third base on a fly ball and was brought around on a bloop base hit from Ryder Jones. Steve Lerud led off the fifth inning with a base hit and moved to second on a bunt from Darren Ford. Steven Duggar then hit a bouncing ball to second baseman Harlod Castro. Duggar’s speed forced Castro to rush the throw and he tossed the ball away, allowing Lerud to score from second for a 2-0 lead. Alexander finished off the fifth without further incident and lasted six innings in the outing. He allowed just the two runs (one earned) on five hits in the no-decision.

Coonrod picked up steam as the night went along in his 11th Double-A start Coonrod secured his first and only 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, striking out two batters to end his outing. The 23 year-old turned in six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits. He struck out six, walked three and left the game with a 2-0 lead.

Christian Jones was the first arm out of the bullpen for Richmond and evaded trouble with a double play to end the seventh inning. Rodolfo Martinez followed for the eighth inning but could not hold the lead. Erie’s Mike Gerber and Cory Jones opened the eighth inning with a double and Connor Harrell followed with an RBI single, cutting the Richmond lead to 2-1. Grayson Greiner was then intentionally walked to load the bases and set up a force out. Martinez regained his balance for a moment and struck out the next batter Dominic Ficociello for the first out. Christin Steward then managed to tie the game with a sacrifice fly into deep right field, 2-2.  Erie grabbed their first lead of the day when the next hitter, Harold Castro, lined a single past second, scoring a pair of runs for the 4-2 advantage.

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