Currently in a the midst of a five game losing streak, Erie's playoff chances get slimmer and slimmer with every day that passes but the club continues to be a topic of conversation and excitement within the Eastern League.
Speaking of excitement, the ‘Wolves might have had the most exciting moment of the season this past Friday night when Erie pulled out a 9-7 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in a game that lasted 17 innings.
Erie had the lead going into the bottom of the 9th inning but Kelvin De La Cruz gave up a two-run homer bringing the Fisher Cats within two. De La Cruz was relieved by the SeaWolves stud closer Bruce Rondon but after retiring one hitter, Rondon allowed a two-run, game tying home run, knotting the game at six all.
This was the first blown save for Rondon since April 6th when he was with the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Rondon had saved 25 straight games prior to this game.
In the top of the 17th, Jordan Lennerton belted a shot off the right field wall, scoring Niuman Romero to give Erie the 8-7 lead. Lennerton's double was followed by outfielder Rawley Bishop ripping a double of his own, snapping an 0-for-10 slump, bringing Lennerton home and putting Erie on top 9-7.
Michael Morrison worked a scoreless 17th and earned the hard fought victory making him 3-3 for the year.
The 17 inning marathon had 529 pitches thrown by 13 different pitchers and lasted a total of 5 hours and 39 minutes. This monumental win also gave the howlers their first series win since July 4th- 6th when Erie won a series over Akron.
Battle of the Seas
Riding high after the 17 inning victory and a series win over New Hampshire, the SeaWolves see-saw quickly switched when Erie was swept by Portland in three consecutive games. The theme of low run production reared its ugly head once again for the club in the series. Erie was outscored 4-18 and was only 4-24 with runners in scoring position versus Portland.
Unfortunately for Erie, stud closer Bruce Rondon was transferred to Triple-A Toledo. Rondon had an amazing run while with Erie earning 12 saves and posting and earned run average of just .083. The flame throwing right hander looks to continue his winning ways with Toledo.
Outfielder Daniel Fields was transferred up to Erie from Class-A Lakeland. While in Lakeland, Fields was an average to above hitter posting 26 runs batted in, 65 hits, and an on base percentage of .318. Once on base, Fields has the speed and ability to steal, 14 stolen bases for Lakeland, which should help Erie's number of runs per game.
Clark was 6-1 for the Flying Tigers with an earned run average of .063 with 59 strikeouts. Waite went 2-3 with the Mud Hens with one save and striking out 28. Both look to bring fire power and consistency from the mound to the SeaWolves.
A Glance Ahead
The howlers try to avoid their second consecutive series sweep tonight versus New Hampshire at home, game time 7:05 pm. Erie will then face off against the Portland Sea Dogs for the second time in a week August 10th – 12th at Jerry Uht Park.