TigsTown MLN: 'Wolves Offense Keeps Cruising

After starting the season with an impressive sweep of the Bowie Baysox last week, the SeaWolves have had a more difficult time this past week, even though the offense keeps producing at a high level.

They began the week with a series loss at Harrisburg winning only the middle game with Josh Rainwater (2-0) earning the victory. After seven consecutive games on the road to begin the season they finally came home to open the home portion of the schedule. Jerry Uht Park lived up to its billing as a hitter's park in the opening weekend. The 'Wolves and Binghamton Mets combined for 69 runs, 89 hits and 10 home runs in the three game series.

The SeaWolves bats remained hot scoring 33 runs and hitting six home runs in their three home games. They are second in the Eastern League with a .275 batting average, first in runs scored with 67 and tied for first with 12 home runs.

There have been plenty of people contributing to the 'Wolves success but none more than Freddy Guzman. Guzman has hit safely in all 10 games this season and is 10th in the League with a .370 batting average. He also leads the league with three triples and is fifth with 11 RBI. Guzman has five multi-hit games this season including a four hit game on April 11 in an 18-13 loss to the Binghamton Mets.

As good as Guzman has been, he isn't the only player putting up good numbers for Erie. Nine players have hit home runs and six players are hitting above .300 for the season. Wilkin Ramirez saw his nine game hitting streak come to an end on Saturday but he is hitting .302 with two home runs and eight RBI. Deik Scram is also off to a torrid start hitting .310 with a home run and eight RBI. Scram is tied with Will Rhymes for the team lead in doubles with four and has five multi-hit games on the season.

There has been a battle for the catcher position with Max St. Pierre and Dusty Ryan both playing well. St. Pierre is no stranger to Erie playing parts of four seasons with the SeaWolves from 2002-2005. He leads the SeaWolves with a .421 batting average, slugging eight hits in 19 at-bats, including a double and a home run. Dusty Ryan has never been known as a power hitter but this season may be different. He has never hit more than seven home runs in any professional season but he has hit two in only 19 at-bats to begin the 2008 campaign. Both catchers have thrown out one runner on three attempts.

For all the accolades the offense has received the opposite can be said for the pitching. The Binghamton Mets scored 36 runs and managed 51 hits in only three games. Despite the lofty numbers the B-Mets put up on the 'Wolves, there are some bright spots on the staff. Jon Connolly and Ben Fritz both had two good starts but haven't earned a decision yet. Connolly has pitched 12 innings allowing five hits and has a 3.00 ERA, while Fritz has a 1.59 ERA in 11 1/3 innings so far this season. The other starters Lucas French (10.80 ERA), Andrew Kown (8.10 ERA) and Daniel Christensen (7.71 ERA) have all struggled in at least one start this season.

The bullpen has not helped out much as they have also been extremely inconsistent. There have been a couple of bright spots in the bullpen including Danny Zell, Josh Rainwater and Casey Fien. Zell leads the team with five appearances and has allowed only two runs and seven hits in 8 1/3 innings pitched. Zell has a 1-0 record and one save. Rainwater has earned two victories in his only two appearances and he has a minuscule 1.35 ERA. Fien has been impressive, not allowing an earned run in four appearances. Fien has pitched 5 2/3 innings and has struck out three batters while walking only one.

Despite the inconsistent pitching the 'Wolves are off to a 6-4 start which is good for a three way tie for first place in the Southern Division. After getting Sunday off because of weather they will welcome the Bowie Baysox to the Uht for a three game set. The 'Wolves will finish out the week with a four game series in Altoona against the Curve.

News and Notes . . .

In addition to losing Matt Rusch to Toledo over the weekend, the SeaWolves placed closer Brett Jensen on the disabled list, retroactive to Thursday, and called up righy Marcelo Perez. Jensen however is not expected to stay on the shelf for too long, tentatively returning when he's eligible to come off the disabled list, on April 17th.

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