SeaWolves stymie Squirrels in series opener
The Flying Squirrels (42-60) struck out a season-high 16 times at the plate and were held to just two hits in a 5-3 loss to Erie (54-48) on Thursday night. Erie 20-year-old right-hander Beau Burrows punched out a career-high ten batters to win the series opener for the SeaWolves. Sam Coonrod suffered the loss, lasting five innings in the defeat. Game three off the series will be on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
Hurlers Burrows and Coonrod both retried the first six batters they faced. Coonrod struck out Zack Cox in the first inning and punched out both Steven Moya and Gabriel Quintana to end the second. The righty was in control over the first two frames, needing only 25 pitches to start.
The command slipped for Coonrod in the third inning, leading to a pair of Erie runs. With one out, Coonrod walked Wade Hinkle and hit A.J. Simcox on the back for the first two base runners in the game. Next, Richmond’s defense came up big on a base hit to center field. Slade Heathcott fielded a single and gunned out the runner Hinkle at the plate, keeping the game momentarily scoreless. Erie then erupted for five runs – all with two outs – starting with a two-run base hit from Cox. Christin Stewart capped the scoring in the inning with a three-run homer. Stewart’s 21st home run of the year granted the SeaWolves a 5-0 advantage.
Richmond countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it a 5-3 score. Brandon Bednar opened the inning with a base hit and Jeff Arnold worked a one out walk. Slade Heathcott followed with an RBI base hit, putting Richmond on the board. C.J. Hinojosa then delivered a deep fly out to right field, scoring Arnold from third base. Burrows eventually struck out Myles Schroder to end the lengthy inning.
Both Burrows and Coonrod recovered nicely from the run-scoring third inning. Coonrod worked around a pair of runners in the fourth and one more in the fifth. The righty returned to the mound for the sixth, but was removed after the first two batters reached base. Carlos Alvarado entered and escaped the jam, saving a pair of runs. Coonrod (3-10) lasted 5+ and allowed the five run son five hits. He walked four and struck out five on 95 pitches.
Burrows blew away a pair of batters in the fourth and three more in the fifth, leading to a career-high ten strikeouts. The 20-year-old tossed five innings, allowing two runs on two hits. He walked three and threw 87 pitches in the win.
Alvarado fired a 1-2-3 seventh inning as well, keeping the game within reach, 5-2. Richmond reliever Dillon McNamara worked a seamless eighth and ninth innings.
Erie’s bullpen was also strong to hold down the lead. Richmond did manage an unearned run in the eighth inning. However Bryan Garcia closed out the contest in the ninth. Garcia struck out the side in earning his seventh save of the season.