Erie SeaWolves 7, Altoona Curve 6
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The Curve found themselves in an early hole, and came close to digging themselves out of it — but fell short. The game began with Erie putting up 4 runs in the top of the 1st. Curve starter Bryan Morris struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a triple, a walk, and an RBI single, followed by a 3-run homer, to give Erie a 4-0 lead.
The Curve answered with a run in each of their first two at-bats. 2B Brock Holt and CF Starling Marte started the bottom of the 1st with back-to-back walks. SS Jordy Mercer’s fly out let Holt tag up and advance to third base, and Holt scored on LF Quincy Latimore’s RBI ground out. 3B Jeremy Farrell led off the bottom of the 2nd with a single. He moved to second base on a ground out by DH Jose Hernandez, and RF Brad Chalk walked. Holt’s single drove in Farrell. Chalk tried to score from first base, but was thrown out at the plate. That cut the SeaWolves’ lead in half, 4-2.
The Curve tied the game in the bottom of the 4th. Farrell singled for the second time, and a wild pitch put him on second base. Walks to Hernandez and Chalk loaded the bases, then Holt was hit by a pitch, forcing in Farrell. Marte’s RBI grounder let Hernandez score, tying the game at 4-4.
The tie didn’t last long. Morris was finished after 4 innings, having allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 5 strikeouts. He was relieved by Jared Hughes, who gave up 2 runs in the top of the 5th. A walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a single drove in the first run. The runner on first stole both second and third bases, then scored on a sacrifice fly, giving Erie a 6-4 lead. A single and an RBI double in the top of the 6th made it 7-4 for Erie.
After going down in order in the 5th and 6th innings, the Curve struck again in the 7th. Holt reached base on a fielding error, and moved to second base on a passed ball. He scored on Latimore’s liner into center field, and Latimore went to second base on a balk. 1B Matt Curry drove in Latimore with another line drive to center field, but Curry was out at third base when he tried to stretch the double into a triple. The Curve were within a run, 7-6.
But that was all the Curve could get. They threatened in the 8th, when Farrell had his third single of the night, and Sanchez also singled. A sacrifice bunt by Hernandez put both runners into scoring position, but a fly out and a strikeout ended the threat. Then the Curve went down in order in the 9th.
Matt McSwain relieved Hughes and pitched 2 scoreless innings, retiring all 6 batters he faced. Donnie Veal also retired the side in order in the top of the 9th, with one strikeout.