Squirrels swept away In Erie
Richmond held leads of 6-1 and 7-3 but could not avoid the sweep at the hands of the SeaWolves (56-74). The entire Squirrels lineup contributed to the offense, highlighted by three hits from Brandon Bednar. Erie’s designated hitter Grayson Greiner dealt the go-ahead blow, a two-run homer to left field in the seventh inning. The loss, coupled with an Akron win, officially eliminated the Squirrels from postseason contention.
The ball was flying around the park for both Richmond and Erie in the final game of the series at Jerry Uht Park on Wednesday night The SeaWolves struck first against lefty Andrew Suarez with a solo home run from Wynton Bernard to start of the first inning. The Squirrels charged right back in the second inning, scoring six runs on six hits. Richmond touched up starting pitcher Thad Weber with RBI hits from Brandon Bednar, Steven Duggar, Christian Arroyo and Hunter Cole. Cole’s double to left field gave Richmond a 6-1 lead.
Erie quickly countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning to cut thedeficit in half, 6-3. Harold Castro knocked a two-out single to right and Kody Eaves then drilled a two-run homer over the right field wall. Suarez needed 32 pitches to get through the first two innings on the night.
Richmond continued to attack Weber and forced him from the game in the third inning. C.J Hinojosa singled with one out to start the Squirrels assault. Tyler Horan added a single and Brandon Bednar delivered an RBI single for a 7-3 lead. Weber then walked Steve Lerud and was removed from the game for reliever veteran Cory Riordan. Riordan immediately corralled the Squirrels offense and stranded the bases loaded to keep the game in reach for Erie.
Suarez attempted to settle in and worked around a single in the third and picked up 1-2-3 fourth inning. Just as Suarez was getting comfortable, Erie struck for three more runs in the fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Erie’s Connor Harrell connected on an RBI single and both Grayson Greiner and Austin Green added RBI groundouts, pulling to within a run. Suarez was done after five innings and allowed eight hits and six runs on the night. Suarez departed with the 8-7 lead but received a no-decision in the outing.
Riordon was the savior on the night for Erie, setting the Squirrels down without a run from the third inning through the seventh. Erie gave Riordon the lead with a pair of runs against the Squirrels bullpen in the seventh. Richmond reliever Carlos Alvarado relieved Suarez and tossed a scoreless sixth. Alvarado then returned for the eighth and left in favor of Preston Claiborne with a runner on second and two outs. Claiborne was brought in to face Grenier and yielded a go-ahead, two-run homer giving Erie a 7-6 lead.
The SeaWolves bullpen closed out the final two innings to complete the sweep. Joe Mantiply earned his first save of the season by setting the Squirrels down in order.