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Erie SeaWolves drop to 0-8



Season highs in hits (11) and runs (5) weren't enough to end the Erie SeaWolves' winless ways.

Erie dropped to 0-8, the worst start in franchise history, thanks to Altoona's 13-5 victory before 4,880 at Jerry Uht Park on Thursday. It was the second-best crowd for a Double-A opener since Erie joined the Eastern League in 1999.

Altoona maintained its share of the Eastern League's best record at 7-1. The Curve countered Erie's best game at the plate with 15 hits, including eight for extra bases.

Six of those hits came in the top of the ninth, when they sent 11 batters to the plate for seven runs.

"It's been a rough go and it's frustrating," Erie manager Phil Nevin said. "Things just kind of snowball sometimes and you walk away from games after eight nights and wonder what else can go wrong."

Like pulling your starting pitcher after two outs. That's what Nevin had to do with Duane Below.

The left-hander, who continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, threw 32 pitches before he was pulled as a precaution.

Below (0-2) walked the Curve's Chase d'Arnaud and Jim Negrych to lead off the game, then watched them score on Hector Gimenez's opposite-field double down the right-field line.

"Duane is only 101/2 months out (of his surgery) and he needs to be commended for that," said Nevin, who was unsure if Below would miss his next start. "He's put a lot of hard work into his rehab to get to where he's at right now."

Zach Simons relieved Below for 31/3 innings. Simons gave up a three-run homer to Altoona's Miles Durham in the third and a solo homer to Matt Hague in the fourth.

Hague's shot gave the Curve a 6-1 lead, one Erie eroded an inning later.

The SeaWolves' Justin Henry reached on a bunt single and Max St. Pierre walked ahead of Wilkin Ramirez's line-drive, three-run homer to deep center.

It was the first homer of the season for the Erie center fielder, who saw time with the parent Detroit Tigers in 2009.

Andy Dirks pulled Erie within 6-5 thanks to an RBI triple that scored St. Pierre. The SeaWolves' leadoff batter also homered in the first and threw out Altoona runners at second base and home plate.

"I probably did back in high school or something," Dirks said of his two assists. "Both of those opportunities just fell right to me. You (try) to make the most of them."

Dirks' two hits helped boost an offense that entered the game with a league-worst .117 batting average.

Ramirez and Cesar Nicolas also had two hits for the SeaWolves.

Durham did in Erie with three hits and four RBIs from the Curve's cleanup spot. First baseman Nick Hague was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs.

Hague's last hit, a two-run double, capped Altoona's ninth-inning outburst.

"That ninth inning just got away from us," Nevin said. "We got within a run in the bottom of the eighth, and that's all you can ask for is a chance late in the game."

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves drop to 0-8

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St. Pierre's 3-run HR helps SeaWolves win 2nd away game

From staff reports

ALTOONA -- Max St. Pierre's latest home run against Altoona wasn't as dramatic as his previous one, but just as decisive.

St. Pierre's three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning was the difference for Erie in Saturday's 4-3 victory over the Curve before 2,260 chilly fans at Blair County Ballpark. The SeaWolves (6-10) won their second straight on the road after they lost their previous 13 away from home, a streak which dated back to last season.

It was April 17 when Erie ended an 0-8 start with a 6-5 victory over the Curve at Jerry Uht Park. St. Pierre determined that outcome with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

That moment was heightened because the veteran catcher hit it on his 30th birthday.

This time, St. Pierre went deep to left off Curve reliever Dustin Molleken (0-2) for his third homer this season. Audy Ciriaco and Michael Bertram also scored on the blast, which wiped out the Curve's 3-1 lead.

The homer almost ignited a bench-clearing brawl in the top of the ninth, when Molleken threw behind St. Pierre. No punches were thrown, although Erie shortstop Cale Iorg was later ejected.

Ryan Ketchner retired the Curve's last seven batters for his first save. Ketchner made a winner of Erie's Jon Kibler (2-2), who pitched into the seventh inning for a second straight start.

Altoona (11-5) took a 3-1 lead against Kibler in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Presley and Jose De Los Santos scored when Jim Negrych lined a Kibler pitch through the box for a two-run single.

Negrych, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, continued to torment Erie pitchers. The Curve's designated hitter has driven in 11 runs in six games against the SeaWolves.

St. Pierre also contributed to Erie's first run, the only one it scored off Altoona starter Michael Crotta. He walked to lead off the third and advanced to third when Iorg sliced a single to right.

The SeaWolves' Josh Burrus then got St. Pierre home with an infield out.

Burrus started in right field because of Deik Scram's promotion to Triple-A Toledo.

Altoona tied it at 1-1 in the fourth. First baseman Matt Hague lined a Kibler pitch over the park's short fence in left for his second homer of the season.

The SeaWolves won with only five hits off Crotta and Molleken. St. Pierre's homer was the only extra-base hit.

Ciriaco went hitless for the first time since he joined Erie last Tuesday.

The SeaWolves and Curve conclude their four-game series today at 2 p.m.

Altoona's probable starter is right-hander Jared Hughes, who began Saturday's action as the Eastern League's only 3-0 pitcher. Erie will counter with righty L.J. Gagnier (1-0, 1.96).

The SeaWolves will enjoy their first off day Monday.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - St. Pierre's 3-run HR helps SeaWolves win 2nd away game

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Nicolas gets second chance as Erie SeaWolves' newcomer




Independence is a basic trait of human nature.

But when it came to that concept in baseball, Cesar Nicolas did all he could to avoid it.

Nicolas gladly returned to sanctioned minor league action with the Erie SeaWolves after he split the 2009 season between two independent circuits.

The 28-year-old is trying to resurrect a professional career that began when the Arizona Diamondbacks selected him in the 2004 amateur draft.

"This is pretty exciting for me," Nicolas said during Erie's first homestand. "Last year in indy ball, I put in a lot of work to get better and get back into the affiliated ranks. We're all here to try to make it to the major leagues. If you're not in affiliated ball, there's no way to do that."

The Diamondbacks liked Nicolas' chances to reach the big-time. So much so, they not only made the Vanderbilt University standout a fifth-round pick, but offered a $60,000 signing bonus.

Nicolas played two seasons of Single-A ball, then progressed to Double-A with the Southern League's Mobile (Ala.) BayBears.

His offensive numbers were better in his second season, including a batting average of .260 and a slugging percentage of .409.

Arizona officials, though, were not impressed. They released their corner infielder after the 2008 season.

"That was a tough time for me," Nicolas said. "But in a way, I felt like it was a gut check. I had some time to evaluate my career and myself. I definitely felt like I wasn't done playing by any means."

Which is why the Queens, N.Y., native decided to play most of 2009 with the Grand Prairie (Texas) AirHogs of the independent American Association. His manager was Pete Incaviglia, who was the SeaWolves' hitting coach from 2004-06.

Nicolas not only redicovered his hitting prowess with Incaviglia's tutelage, but also gained a rejuvenated psyche.

"What I learned from Pete is just having fun again," Nicolas said. "I felt like I got that passion and love back for the game."

Love of the game or not, that's not what caught the attention of Detroit Tigers' officials. They were more enamored with Nicolas' .331 batting average, 18 homers and 112 RBIs in 96 games with Grand Prairie and another 10 with Southern Maryland in the independent Atlantic League.

When Nicolas was assigned to Erie, he found a coincidental ally in his new manager, Phil Nevin, who also toiled in an independent league last season. The former Cal State Fullerton star managed his hometown Orange County (Calif.) Flyers in Golden Baseball League.

Nevin has consistently listed Nicolas among his cleanup hitters, despite the .244 average Nicolas took into Saturday evening's game at Altoona.

"I wouldn't put him in the fourth hole between some of my left-handed hitters if I didn't think he was somebody who could (handle) it," Nevin said. "What Cesar does is take great at-bats. He sees a lot of pitches for a middle-of-the-order guy. You'll probably see him hit some home runs for us, but first and foremost he's a good hitter."

Nevin plans to use Nicolas primarily as a designated hitter, although he did start at first base for the team's first two games at Altoona. Nicolas has been a DH in the past, although never to the extent he'll likely be with the SeaWolves.

Getting used to Erie's cold weather was a big challenge for Nicolas during his first games at Jerry Uht Park.

Bigger, though, will be adapting to the position's hurry-up-and-wait aspect.

"It's part of the game and you have to take the (role) seriously," Nicolas said. "I've learned if I can keep my mind in the game while I'm in the dugout, you won't lose focus."

Fortunately, that's something easier to do with a second chance in organized ball.

"Enjoy every day that you get to go out there and play," Nicolas said of advice he'd give to the younger SeaWolves. "It's a blessing."

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Nicolas gets second chance as Erie SeaWolves' newcomer

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Thunder rally past SeaWolves


The Trenton Thunder’s David Adams, back left, tags out the Erie SeaWolves’ Justin Henry on a steal attempt at second base in the fourth inning Friday night at Jerry Uht Park.

The Erie SeaWolves rallied from an 0-8 start to even their record before Friday's game against Trenton.

They'll wait longer for their first winning mark.

Trenton turned on the power in the latter innings of their 11-5 victory over the SeaWolves before 1,811 at Jerry Uht Park. The loss ended Erie's six-game winning streak, which they achieved during a road trip before the start of Friday's seven-game homestand.

Both teams are now 10-11.

Erie led early with help from the eighth and ninth hitters in its lineup. Justin Henry hit a three-run homer in the second for a 4-0 score, and Iorg's solo shot in the fourth made it 5-1.

That's when the Thunder rumbled.

Marcos Vechionacci and Brandon Laird hit homers off Erie starter Jon Kibler that pulled Trenton within a run. The visitors followed with eight hits and seven earned runs off reliever Jay Voss (0-1). Luis Nunez capped the binge with a three-run homer in the top of the eighth.

Noel Castillo (1-2) was the winner in relief of Trenton starter Ryan Pope.

The teams are back at the Uht on Saturday at 1:05 p.m.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Thunder rally past SeaWolves

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Erie SeaWolves beat Binghamton Mets 4-2

After waiting through rain, Erie breaks B-Mets' hold




Lightning cuts through the sky overhead of the Erie Seawolves game against the Birmingham Mets. A rain delay ensued and the game continued later. ROB ENGELHARDT/


The Erie SeaWolves endured their first rain delay this season.

It was worth it, given they also beat Binghamton for the first time this season.

The SeaWolves doubled the Mets 4-2 in a rain-plagued matchup at Jerry Uht Park.

Most of the original crowd of 1,055 was long gone by the time reliever Brendan Wise struck out Jonathan Malo in the ninth.

Erie returned to the break-even mark at 13-13. The SeaWolves were 0-5 against Binghamton before Wednesday.

The Mets dropped to 16-10.

Heavy rain and thunder caused a 54-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth. When the teams returned, they played through intermittent showers.

"I thought they did a great job," Erie manager Phil Nevin said of clearing the field after the rain delay. "They said there was only supposed to be a second pocket (of rain) coming through and it was small."

The SeaWolves led 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning when play was called.

Erie scored those runs in the first two innings off Mets starter Brad Holt (0-2), who began the game with a whopping 23.14 earned-run average.

The SeaWolves' Cesar Nicolas hit a two-run home run in the first and Cale Iorg drove in Michael Bertram with an RBI single in the second.

Bertram led off that inning with a triple.

He scored Erie's insurance run in the eighth, when he doubled and came home on a Chris White fielder's choice grounder.

Binghamton got back into it with solo home runs off Erie starter Jon Kibler. Jonathan Malo went deep in the top of the third and Zach Lutz in the fourth.

Lutz's homer was his team-leading seventh and temporarily tied him for the Eastern League's lead.

Zach Simons (1-1) replaced Kibler after the rain delay. The right-hander pitched three hitless innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

Simons didn't consider coming in after the rain delay different from any other scenario as a reliever.

"When you're in the bullpen, you've got to be ready at all times," he said. "Last year, I pitched a lot late in games. This year, it's more dual roles (as a set-up man and closer), so I've got to prepare myself for anything."

Erie's Brendan Wise pitched the final two innings for his second save.

The delay shortened what already was a condensed time span until the teams' next game. The SeaWolves and Mets conclude their four-game series with today's 11:05 a.m. school- day special.

Nevin pondered sleeping on his office couch because of that. He also joked that he wouldn't mind a delay in today's start.

"I'm hoping for a downpour now that this one's over," he said in deadpan fashion.


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SeaWolves knock off Binghamton

Erie hits 3 homers, earns split of series


Erie SeaWolves DH Cesar Nicolas hit a three-run home run to help his team defeat the Binghamton Mets 7-6 at Jerry Uht Park in Erie on May 6



The late Ernie Harwell liked to say, "Looooong gone," for his home run call.

The Hall of Fame announcer would have worn it out had he worked Thursday's game at Jerry Uht Park.

Five homers were hit during the Erie SeaWolves' 7-6 victory over Binghamton before a school-day crowd of 4,536. None was bigger than the one by Cesar Nicolas, who socked a three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Nicolas lined a Clint Everts pitch over the right-field fence, and he did it with a 3-0 count. The SeaWolves' Andy Dirks and Wilkin Ramirez scored on Nicolas' third home run, which gave Erie a 7-4 lead.

"It's says a lot in our skipper that he shows that kind of confidence in us," Nicolas said of Erie manager Phil Nevin. "He gave me the green light at 3-0. I was just looking to be aggressive on a good pitch that I could handle. Fortunately, it got up in that jet stream."

Wind-aided fly balls were how Erie (14-13) scored all its runs. Josh Burrus hit a three-run homer in the third and Wilkin Ramirez a solo shot to deep center in the sixth.

Ramirez's homer, his seventh overall, tied him with Binghamton's Zach Lutz and New Hampshire's Eric Thames for the Eastern League lead. It also tied a back-and-forth contest at 4-all.

Erie untied it an inning later.

Dirks lined a two-out double to right off Binghamton sidearmer Roy Merritt (1-2). Mets manager Tim Teufel then gambled when he intentionally walked Ramirez and brought in the right-handed Everts to face the right-handed Nicolas.

The SeaWolves' designated hitter went opposite field to the delight of the elementary students on hand.

"Both hitters are good, and Wilkin had just hit a home run (the inning) before," Nevin said of Teufel's decision. "Tim probably played a matchup he thought would work. Hey, if (Everts) punches out Cesar, we're not talking about this."

Erie relievers Jay Voss (1-1) and Luis Marte made Nicolas' homer hold up for the win. The Mets parlayed Justin Henry's ninth-inning error into a two-run rally, but Marte still recorded his fourth save when he struck out Lutz with the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

While Lutz didn't homer for Binghamton, Lucas Duda and Marshall Hubbard did. They hit solo shots off Erie starter L.J. Gagnier, with Hubbard's tying it at 3-all the fourth.

Gagnier allowed four runs on 10 hits over five-plus innings. The right-hander, nominated for the league's April player of the month award, was 3-0 and began the game with a 2.10 ERA.

"That probably wasn't his best stuff (Thursday)," Nevin said of Gagnier's outing. "But I've said it before. If they're going to hit (homers), make sure they're solo shots. Those were tough elements to pitch in against a good lineup."

Burrus and Ramirez went deep off Binghamton starter Scott Shaw, whose 7.06 ERA contrasted with his 4-0 record.

Michael Bertram singled and doubled for the SeaWolves. The first baseman has a seven-game hitting streak as he continues to work out of an early-season slump.

Erie salvaged a split of its four-game series with Binghamton, which dropped to 16-11. The SeaWolves travel to Altoona for a weekend series with the Curve, then return to the Uht on Monday to face Akron.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves knock off Binghamton

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SeaWolves take care of Curve again

Erie improves to 6-2 against division leaders

From staff reports

ALTOONA -- The Altoona Curve have the best record in the Eastern League's Western Division.

But when it comes to the Erie SeaWolves, the Curve have been unnerved. Six of their nine losses have come against Erie, which won 3-0 Friday before 4,126 at Blair County Ballpark. Erie is 6-2 in the season series against Altoona.

Duane Below, Ramon Garcia and Brooks Brown combined for a six-hit shutout of Altoona (18-9), whose record is second-best in the league. Erie (15-13) moved two games above .500 for the first time this season.

Below (2-3) allowed four hits over 51/3 innings. He retired eight straight at one point and also picked off the Curve's Matt Hague to end the bottom of the fourth.

Brown pitched the last two innings for his second save. Altoona's Alex Presley and Hector Gimenez reached base with two outs in the ninth, but Brown ended the game with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Kris Watts.

Erie book-ended its runs.

Cesar Nicolas hit an RBI double in the top of the first off Curve starter Justin Wilson (1-2). Josh Burrus provided insurance when he lined a two-run single in the ninth off reliever Corey Hamman.

Altoona lost even though its pitchers limited Erie to five hits. Wilson and Hamman set down 15 straight batters until the SeaWolves' Wilkin Ramirez singled with one out in the eighth.

The weekend series continues today at Altoona, where Erie has won four of five this season.

Michael Bertram and Max St. Pierre were hitless for Erie. Bertram saw his hitting streak end at seven games, while St. Pierre played for the first time since dislocating his left thumb in Monday's home game against Binghamton.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves take care of Curve again

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Kibler pitches SeaWolve

s past Aeros



Jon Kibler showed why he's the ace of the Erie SeaWolves' rotation Monday night.


Kibler pitched 72/3 innings, his longest outing this season, in a 4-1 victory over the Akron Aeros at Jerry Uht Park.

A chilly Buck Night crowd of 2,591 watched the duel between Kibler and Aeros starter Kelvin De La Cruz, a Cleveland Indians prospect promoted to Double-A over the weekend.

The SeaWolves (17-14) moved three games over .500 for the first time this season. They also won their initial game against the 2009 Eastern League champions.

Akron, last in the league's new Western Division, dropped to 12-19.

Kibler (3-2) never trailed in his matchup against De La Cruz. The SeaWolves left-hander retired eight straight at one point and didn't allow the Aeros' lone run until the top of the seventh.

"(Catcher) Max (St. Pierre) and I worked well together (Monday)," Kibler said. "We worked on throwing the ball inside and outside. I didn't have much of a slider, but I tried to mix it as much as possible. I used a two-seamer (fastball) to get ground balls with some success."

Even when he didn't get a ground ball, the SeaWolves had Kibler's back after their early 1-0 lead.

Cale Iorg was involved in Erie's biggest defensive plays. The shortstop ended the top of the fifth when he snared a liner off the bat of Akron's Josh Rodriguez, and then threw to first to pick off Cord Phelps.

The Aeros scored their lone run in the seventh when Jared Goedert's two-out double down the left-field line scored Matt McBride.

Erie, though, prevented the tying run from scoring when Iorg took a relay from Andy Dirks and easily threw out Beau Mills at home.

"When the ball went down there in the corner, it kicked out pretty good for me," Dirks said of the play. "Cale's got a strong enough arm that I knew if I got it to him, there's always a chance for a play (at the plate)."

Erie went up 2-0 in the fifth when Dirks hit the first pitch from De La Cruz (0-1) for a solo home run to right. It was his fourth homer of the season and first since April 28.

The SeaWolves added insurance in the eighth off Akron relievers Steven Wright and Carlton Smith.

Josh Burrus walked, advanced to second on a Wright balk and made it 3-1 when Wilkin Ramirez legged out a triple to left-center.

"He kicked into another gear on that one," Erie manager Phil Nevin said of Ramirez. "I said in the dugout that you don't see too many triples to the (350-foot) sign in left. To get to third, knowing that Cesar (Nicolas) is on deck, was huge."

Ramirez gave the SeaWolves their three-run cushion when Nicolas lofted a sacrifice fly to right off Smith. Erie's Luis Marte pitched the ninth for his team-leading fifth save.

Ramirez had two of Erie's six hits. Phelps, who has a league-best .368 batting average, doubled for one of Akron's five hits.

GoErie.com: Baseball: MLB - Kibler pitches SeaWolves past Aeros

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Tigers promote St. Pierre, Gagnier to Toledo



Expect new faces to charge the Erie SeaWolves' battery.

That's because catcher Max St. Pierre and starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier have been promoted to Toledo. The duo learned of the moves during the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader between the SeaWolves and Akron.

This marks the third straight season that St. Pierre, 30, will split time between the Detroit Tigers' Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. Gagnier, 25, pitched for Erie and Toledo in 2008.

"It's a big day for both of them," Erie manager Phil Nevin said. "We don't look at it as how it affects our team. We're happy for those guys, and that's the feeling in that room."

Gagnier was gone from Erie's clubhouse before the doubleheader ended, but St. Pierre was still packing amid back slaps from teammates.

Make that, former teammates.

"I'm happy to go, but at the same time it (stinks) to leave this team," St. Pierre said. "I like this team a lot, but it's better to go to Triple-A than stay at Double-A."

St. Pierre played in Wednesday's opener at Jerry Uht Park. The Quebec City native contributed to Erie's 5-2 victory with a walk and a run scored.

In 20 games this season, St. Pierre hit .217 with five home runs and 14 RBIs. Two of his homers were game-winners in the bottom of the ninth.

The former, a two-run shot that beat Altoona 6-5 on April 17, not only ended Erie's 0-8 start but came on St. Pierre's 30th birthday.

"Very disappointed," Erie starter Thad Weber said of St. Pierre's departure. "He's a glue guy in the clubhouse as an older veteran. He knows what he's doing (behind the plate)."

Weber confirmed he'll be on the mound for today's game at Bowie, a start Gagnier was scheduled to make.

Gagnier was Erie's nominee for the Eastern League's player of the month award for April.

The right-hander made six starts and compiled a 3-0 record with a 2.83 ERA over 35 innings.

Gagnier's last start was May 6. He took a no-decision for five innings of Erie's 7-6 victory over Binghamton.

Nevin was unsure who would be sent to Erie as Gagnier's replacement.

However, he did confirm catcher Andy Bouchie's promotion from Single-A Lakeland in the Florida State League.

Bouchie, 25, was a seventh-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2006 amateur draft. The Santa Ana, Calif., native played three seasons in their system, before joining the Long Beach (Calif.) Armada in the independent Golden Baseball League.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Tigers promote St. Pierre, Gagnier to Toledo

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Erie SeaWolves split doubleheader with Akron Aeros



Most of Wednesday's school day crowd at Jerry Uht Park left after the first game of Erie and Akron's doubleheader.

At least they watched the SeaWolves' better half.

Erie won its third straight with a 5-2 victory over the Aeros before 4,694.

Few, though, were still there by the time Akron ended that streak with a 7-2 final in the second game.

"It's always tough to sweep doubleheaders," SeaWolves manager Phil Nevin said. "You can look throughout baseball and find it a tough thing to do. But, we still won the series."

Erie beat the 2009 league champion two out of three at the Uht.

The split was the first time the SeaWolves hosted a regulation Eastern League doubleheader, two seven-inning games, since July 24, 2008. It left them with an 18-15 record going into their seven-game road trip to Bowie and Richmond.

The Aeros dropped to 13-20.

Erie had quick starts in the first innings of both games. They led 2-0 in the opener when Wilkin Ramirez and Cesar Nicolas had RBIs on successive hit-and-run plays off Akron starter Scott Barnes (0-4).

The Aeros tied it an inning later, but Shawn Roof was responsible for Erie's 3-2 lead in the fourth.

Roof, who totaled three hits, sliced an opposite-field double to right-center. He then stole third and scampered home when Akron catcher Miguel Perez threw wide of the bag for an error.

Nevin likes his base runners to be aggressive, but wouldn't reveal if Roof ran on his own in that situation.

"Certain guys do," Nevin said. "We just saw an opportunity there. Their pitcher (Barnes) wasn't paying attention to Shawn, and he also was slow (in his delivery) to the plate."

Roof also provided one of Erie's seventh-inning insurance runs for Brooks Brown (2-1), who won in relief of starter Duane Below.

The SeaWolves second baseman ripped another double to right, one which plated Michael Bertram.

Max. St. Pierre, who walked during the rally, then gave Erie its three-run lead when he scored on Andy Dirks' sacrifice fly.

St. Pierre and starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier learned during the second game they were being promoted to Triple-A Toledo.

"Not really," St. Pierre said when asked if he sensed the move. "You never know with these things. They (the Detroit Tigers) want me to play every day, and that's why they sent me to Double-A in the first place."

Erie's Jeff Kunkel was behind the plate in the second game, one that also looked promising for the SeaWolves after Josh Burrus opened the bottom of the first with a home run off right-hander Paolo Espino.

Akron, though, made a winner of Espino (3-1). The visitors never trailed after scoring three in the third, highlighted by Nick Weglarz's two-run homer off Erie starter Ramon Garcia (0-1).

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves split doubleheader with Akron Aeros

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SeaWolves postgame notes for May 12

The Erie SeaWolves have become an affiliated haven for former independent leaguers.

Phil Nevin began his managerial career in 2009 with the Orange County (Calif.) Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. He’s regularly listed designated hitter Cesar Nicolas and Josh Burrus, themselves independent players last season, on the SeaWolves’ starting lineup.

Now, Erie will welcome a fourth member.

Nevin announced after Wednesday’s doubleheader that catcher Andy Bouchie, 25, was promoted to the SeaWolves from Single-A Lakeland. Bouchie will replace veteran Max St. Pierre, who’s bound for his third stint with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.

Bouchie is expected to join the SeaWolves sometime during their weekend series at Bowie. Picked by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2006 amateur draft, last year he played against Nevin’s Orange County team as a member of the rival Long Beach (Calif.) Armada.

“He’s a great guy to handle this staff,” Nevin said of Bouchie. “As far as (Jeff) Kunkel and Bouchie behind the plate, we’ll be good defensively.”

Bouchie committed one error in 16 games for the 2010 Flying Tigers. The Santa Ana, Calif., native and Oral Roberts University standout hit .135 with two home runs and four RBIs.


Also promoted to Toledo on Wednesday was starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier, who was 3-0 with a 2.83 earned-run average in six starts for Erie. The right-hander, who also pitched for the Mud Hens in 2008, was an April nominee for the Eastern League’s player of the month award.

Nevin said the parent Detroit Tigers will assign an undetermined pitcher to the SeaWolves. Gagnier was scheduled to start Thursday’s game at Bowie, the opener of Erie’s eight-day, seven-game road trip. The SeaWolves’ rotation will be bumped up a day in the interim.


Erie (18-15) and Bowie (16-18) will play their second series this season in Maryland. The SeaWolves swept the Baysox when they met April 27-29 at Prince George’s Stadium.

First pitch for Thursday and Friday’s games will be 7:05 p.m. Saturday’s contest will start at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday’s finale at 2:05 p.m. Probable starters for the series are: Erie RH Thad Weber (1-3, 5.00 ERA) vs. Bowie RH Tim Bascom (2-1, 2.78 ERA) on Thursday; LH Andy Oliver (3-1, 4.41) vs. LH Zach Britton (2-3, 4.37) on Friday; LH Jon Kibler (3-2, 3.00) vs. RH Chorye Spoone (1-4, 6.21) on Saturday; and TBA vs. RHP Ryohei Tanaka (2-3, 3.63) on Sunday.

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves postgame notes for May 12

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SeaWolves win again on road, beat Baysox

From staff reports

BOWIE, Md. –– Thad Weber delivered for the Erie SeaWolves against the Bowie Baysox on Thursday, picking up a 5-3 road victory at Prince George's Stadium.

It was Erie's ninth win out of its past 10 road games.

Weber pitched 62/3 innings, giving up six hits and all three Baysox runs.

But he effectively held the Baysox hitters in check, striking out six and relying on error-free defense to win in front of more than 3,500 fans.

Erie and Bowie played a scoreless three innings before 'Wolves cleanup hitter Cesar Nicolas led off the fourth with a home run.

Weber gave up a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth but then retired six consecutive Baysox batters.

With Erie leading 1-0 entering the sixth inning, Wilkin Ramirez, Nicolas, Andy Ciriaco and Michael Bertram each singled to produce a run.

After a Cale Iorg popout, Jeff Kunkel reached on an error, giving Erie a 3-0 lead. With two outs, Josh Burrus singled home Ciriaco and Bertram, making it 5-0.

Weber gave up a solo home run to Tyler Henson in the bottom half of the inning and two more runs in the seventh before manager Phil Nevin replaced him with Brendan Wise, who pitched 21/3 scoreless innings to get his third save.

Erie opened the series with its fourth consecutive win against Bowie, including a three-game sweep at Jerry Uht Park.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves win again on road, beat Baysox

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Baysox finally best of Erie in Maryland

The Bowie Baysox beat Erie for the first time in five games at Prince George’s Stadium with Friday’s 3-2 victory.

The Baysox (17-19) won the low-scoring game, which totaled eight hits, when Tyler Henson scored on Robert Widlansky’s sixth-inning sacrifice fly. Bowie relievers Pat Egan and Pedro Beato held the SeaWolves (19-16) hitless the rest of the way.

Erie pitcher Anthony Shawler and catcher Andy Bouchie made their Double-A debuts in the loss. Shawler lasted three innings in relief of starter Andy Oliver, who only faced three batters because of a rain delay.

Cale Iorg hit a solo home run for the SeaWolves, who return to Bowie’s diamond Saturday at 6:35 p.m.

– Mike Copper

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - Baysox finally best of Erie in Maryland

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SeaWolves face Richmond ace

It will be Erie’s home run prowess against Richmond’s penchant for preventing runs when the Eastern League teams meet for the first time Tuesday.

The SeaWolves (21-16) will play their first game vs. the Flying Squirrels, formerly the Connecticut Defenders, in the opener of a three-game series at The Diamond. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

The San Francisco Giants moved their Double-A affiliate from Norwich, Conn., to Virginia’s capital over the winter. Last year, the franchise lost to Akron in four games of the best-of-five league final.

Richmond was the long-time home for the Triple-A Richmond Braves until the parent club in Atlanta relocated them to Gwinnett County, Ga., after the 2008 season. Void of baseball last summer, the city has responded at its second chance.

The Squirrels (22-15) lead the league in attendance with an average crowd of more than 6,400.

The teams play Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:05, with Thursday’s finale a rare 10:35 a.m. start. Probable starters for the series are: Erie LH Duane Below (2-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. Richmond RH Daryl Maday (6-0, 1.54 ERA) on Tuesday; RH Thad Weber (2-3, 4.85) vs. RH David Mixon (4-1, 2.32) on Wednesday; and LH Andy Oliver (3-1, 4.28) vs. LH Craig Clark (2-2, 4.05) on Thursday.

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves face Richmond ace

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SeaWolves complete worst-to-first climb

The Erie SeaWolves, who had a franchise-record 0-8 start to their season, are now in first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division thanks to Wednesday’s 9-4 victory at Richmond.

The win, combined with an Altoona loss, left Erie atop the standings with a 23-16 record. The Curve are a half-game back at 22-16 and the Flying Squirrels third at 22-17.

The SeaWolves assumed first thanks to a season-high 16 hits off the league’s best pitching staff. They scored six times against Richmond starter David Mixon (4-2), including four during a six-run fifth inning.

Wilkin Ramirez and Cesar Nicolas hit back-to-back home runs during that rally. Ramirez’s two-run homer off Mixon was his league-leading ninth of the season.

Erie’s Andy Dirks also homered, part of his three hits and five RBIs. Jeff Kunkel and Shawn Roof were each good for three hits, while Michael Bertram extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Anthony Shawler (1-0) won his first Double-A decision with three innings of relief for the SeaWolves, who go for a series sweep Thursday at 10:35 a.m. at The Diamond.

– Mike Copper

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves complete worst-to-first climb

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SeaWolves fall out of first place

From staff reports

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Erie SeaWolves just can't seem to get the sweep this season.

Richmond scored four times with two outs in the eighth inning Thursday to defeat the 'Wolves 5-1 and drop Erie out of first place in the Eastern League's Western Division.

The Flying Squirrels (23-17) pulled into second place with the 'Wolves (23-17), a half-game behind Altoona (23-16).

Erie, whose three-game winning streak was snapped, hosts the Curve in a three-game series starting today at Jerry Uht Park.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the game tied at 1, Richmond's Tyler La Torre doubled. He was replaced by pinch-runner Nick Noonan, who scored the winning run on Juan Ciriaco's single.

Brandon Crawford followed two walks by Erie reliever Zach Simons with a three-run inside-the-park home run.

Flying Squirrels reliever Tony Pena (3-0) held the SeaWolves scoreless over the final 31/3 innings.

Starter Thad Weber (2-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in 72/3 innings.

Shawn Roof singled in the third to drive in Justin Henry for Erie's run.

Erie is 1-3 this season in games when it has a chance to sweep an opponent during the third game of a three-game series. Its only sweep of the season came April 27-29 at Bowie.

The 'Wolves are 8-2-1 in series this season

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves fall out of first place

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'Wolves yield ground



Jon Kibler is the ace of the Erie SeaWolves' rotation.

On Friday, though, it was Altoona's Bryan Morris who pitched like one.

Morris subdued the SeaWolves in his Double-A debut. The Curve right-hander held the home team to one run and three hits over 51/3 innings of a 6-2 victory before 2,371 at Jerry Uht Park.

"Their guy over there looked like he had pretty good stuff," Erie manager Phil Nevin said of Morris, a 2006 first-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers. "He had our guys off with a mid-90s fastball and a real good breaking ball."

Morris (1-0) was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization in 2008, part of the three-team deal that sent Jason Bay to the Boston Red Sox and Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers. On Friday he helped the Curve (24-16) extend their lead over Erie to 11/2 games in the Eastern League's Western Division standings.

The SeaWolves (23-18) held first place in the division for one day earlier this week. Friday's game was their first at the Uht after a 5-2 road trip to Bowie and Richmond.

Morris departed one batter after Erie's Wilkin Ramirez socked a solo home run over the batter's-eye screen in center field. Ramirez's sixth-inning blast was his league-leading 10th homer.

By then, though, Altoona led 6-0 thanks to its pummeling of Kibler (3-3). The left-hander was yanked after 21/3 innings, his shortest start this season.

"The first inning, I started out fine," said Kibler, who surrendered six hits and three walks.

"I came out in the second and gave up a leadoff walk, which kind of got me out of rhythm. After that, I was never able to recover."

Kibler walked the Curve's leadoff batters in the second and third innings. Those free passes initiated three-run innings for Altoona, as Alex Presley had an RBI in each rally.

"He just wasn't executing," Erie catcher Andy Bouchie said of Kibler. "It was one of those days for him, and everybody's got one of those days."

Friday was a big day for Bouchie, who was called up to Erie from Single-A Lakeland (Fla.) to replace Max St. Pierre early in the team's last road trip. Bouchie played his first game at the Uht and homered in the ninth inning for the SeaWolves' second run.

Also playing in Erie for the first time was pitcher Anthony Shawler, another Lakeland call-up. The reliever's outing was a strange one.

Shawler pitched 31/3 scoreless innings in relief of Kibler, and also struck out four. However, he was ejected with two outs in the sixth for throwing a pitch behind Altoona's Chase d'Arnaud, even though the pitch was near the shortstop's feet and Erie trailed by six runs.

Nevin said the teams weren't warned before the game, a reason why he argued with home plate umpire Andy Dudones when Shawler was tossed.

"There must have been something said on the field," Nevin said. "It was one of those baseball situations, I guess. I'll leave it at that."

Michael Bertram extended his hitting streak to 13 games for the SeaWolves, who are scheduled to face Altoona twice in Saturday's 5:05 p.m. doubleheader.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - 'Wolves yield ground

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SeaWolves get swept in doubleheader



Fireworks were held after Saturday night's games at Jerry Uht Park.

As for the Altoona Curve, earlier explosions helped them in their doubleheader sweep of the Erie SeaWolves.

First-inning rallies propelled the Curve to 8-3 and 7-3 victories before a crowd of 3,958. The SeaWolves (23-20) lost their third and fourth straight after holding first place in the Eastern League's Western Division for one day last week.

Altoona (26-16) not only built a 31/2-game lead over Erie, but also assured the SeaWolves would lose their first series of any kind since their 0-8 start.

The postgame fireworks didn't start until after midnight thanks to the weather. The doubleheader was scheduled to start at 5:05 p.m., but was delayed 1 hour, 14 minutes while the grounds crew worked to dry the field from heavy afternoon rain.

The two games were needed because the teams were rained out at the Uht on April 16.

The Curve never trailed the second game after they broke a 3-all tie with single runs in the third and fourth innings off Erie starter Ramon Garcia (0-2). Josh Harrison scored the go-ahead run on Alex Presley's triple off the right-field wall in the third, and Kris Watts led off the fourth with his second homer of the season.

Altoona scored three times in its first at-bats, only to watch the SeaWolves match them with three in the second.

The big play in that rally was catcher Jeff Kunkel's opposite-field triple to left.

Curve left fielder Alex Presley slipped as he approached Kunkel's fly ball near the foul line. That stumble allowed Michael Bertram and Josh Burrus to score.

Kunkel then made it 3-all when he blooped a single to left-center field off Derek Hankins (4-1). Hankins, though, ended the rally and proceeded to retire 10 straight Erie batters.

Bertram extended the league's longest active hitting streak to 15 games. The SeaWolves first baseman had a two-run RBI double and a single in the opener.

In that game, Altoona third baseman Jordy Mercer went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Mercer scored in multiple-run rallies in the first and third innings off Erie starter Brooks Brown (3-2). Brown didn't make it out of the third inning, allowing five earned runs and seven overall.

Presley also had a huge game for the Curve, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. With five hits in the doubleheader, he upped his league-leading batting average to .375.

Altoona's Michael Dubee (2-0) was the first-game winner with 22/3 innings in relief of starter Jared Hughes. Dubee struck out five SeaWolves, all on called third strikes. Erie closed within 4-3 on an Andy Dirks sacrifice fly in the second.

The SeaWolves will try to salvage the finale of the four-game series today at 1:05 p.m

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves get swept in doubleheader

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New SeaWolves catcher finding his vibe



Andy Bouchie's demeanor was calm when asked about his May 13 promotion to the Erie SeaWolves.

His words? Not so much.

"Pretty exciting," Bouchie said of that big day in his baseball life. "No, really exciting. You get out of Lakeland (Fla.) and come to a league where they actually have fans."

That league is the Eastern League, where Bouchie is playing at the Double-A level for the first time. The 24-year-old catching prospect was promoted to replace Erie veteran Max St. Pierre, himself a call-up to Triple-A Toledo.

Bouchie joined the SeaWolves during their most recent road trip and played his first game in Erie on Friday night, a 6-2 loss to Altoona at Jerry Uht Park. He accounted for Erie's second run with a solo homer off Curve reliever Ronald Uviedo in the ninth inning.

The SeaWolves won't have to worry about the newcomer's attitude, if his comments on that game are any indication.

"It's a tough loss," Bouchie said, "but we come back tomorrow and get them. That's why baseball is a beautiful thing. You come back every day and play again."

Bouchie has played professionally since the Milwaukee Brewers made him a seventh-round selection in the 2006 amateur draft.

A cousin of former Cleveland Indians third baseman Matt Williams, he was in the Brewers' system for three years before being released.

The Detroit Tigers signed him to a minor-league contract after he competed for the 2009 Long Beach (Calif.) Armada in the independent Golden Baseball League. It's the same league where Erie's Phil Nevin began his managerial career.

Bouchie hit .135 in 16 games for the Lakeland this season, but is off to a better start with the SeaWolves. Platooning with Jeff Kunkel behind the plate, the Santa Ana, Calif., native had a .315 average (5-of-16) in his first five games.

So far, Bouchie's biggest adjustment has been getting in sync with Erie's pitchers.

"It can be a challenge reacquainting yourself," he said. "I've been at Lakeland for a month and a half, but I caught most of them at spring training."

Jon Kibler was one of those pitchers. The left-hander said Bouchie is on his way to finding that vibe.

"So far, he's done a great job," Kibler said. "I look forward to throwing to him some more."

And Bouchie looks forward to it, too.

"A lot of fun," he said of his Double-A honeymoon. "It seems like this is the first team I've been on in professional ball where every guy is pulling for each other and everybody is out there to win every day, no matter what. No matter if you go 0-for-4, you're still pulling for him, even if you lose.

"Again, that's the beauty of baseball," Bouchie said.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - New SeaWolves catcher finding his vibe

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Erie SeaWolves swept by Altoona Curve

For all of the game's strikeouts, it was the one Andy Oliver didn't get which led to the Erie SeaWolves' fifth straight loss Sunday afternoon.

Oliver was one strike away from his 10th punch out when Altoona's Shelby Ford crushed a 1-2 pitch off the Tullio Arena façade for a two-run homer. The Curve's Justin Wilson and two relievers made it hold up for a 2-1 victory before 2,009 at Jerry Uht Park.

Erie dropped to 23-21. The team's losing streak is the longest since the team opened the 2010 Eastern League season at 0-8.

Altoona's four-game series sweep left them 27-16 overall. The first-place Curve are 41/2 games up on Erie in the Western Division standings.

Oliver (4-2) lost despite striking out nine over 6 2/3 innings. Wilson (2-4) was even better, whiffing 10 in six innings.

Erie scored its lone run in the third when Chris White scored on a double steal.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves swept by Altoona Curve

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SeaWolves postgame notes for May 23

The Erie SeaWolves boarded a bus for Trenton shortly after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Altoona at Jerry Uht Park.

The SeaWolves (23-21) will play the Thunder (24-18) in a four-game series at Waterfront Park. It was the site of Erie’s first four losses in its franchise-record 0-8 start to this season.

Long bus trips are a way of life in minor league baseball. Erie manager Phil Nevin wasn’t angry about that Sunday, but was about the team’s recent and upcoming schedule.

“”I’m not going to make excuses for my guys, but this week and half is absolutely brutal,” Nevin said. “It’s unfair, to be honest with you. We play a day game on Tuesday and a night game on Thursday, then come home after that (for a night game) Friday. It’s just not right.”

The SeaWolves and Thunder will meet Tuesday at 10:35 a.m., with the Monday, Wednesday and Thursday games set for 7:05 p.m. Thursday’s starting time means Erie must bus overnight to Erie for Friday night’s game vs. Harrisburg at the Uht.

After four with the Senators, the SeaWolves are back on the road for six days.

Nevin’s displeasure was augmented because of that and how the team made a lengthy one-day trip from Richmond, Va., to Erie last Thursday, and had to cross Pennsylvania three days later.


Shawn Roof knew Erie’s strikeout total for the Altoona series was excessive. But the second baseman still recoiled when told the number was 48.

“Did we strike out that many times? Ugh,” Roof said. “It was just one of those weekends where things happened for them and didn’t happen for us. The last time we were there (at Altoona), they were the ones who were striking out a lot.”

Roof was the first of 15 Erie batters who whiffed Sunday. Andy Dirks had the worst day, striking out three times against Curve starter Justin Wilson and once against reliever Dustin Molleken.


Erie’s Michael Bertram struck out twice, first against Molleken and then against Curve closer Daniel Moskos in the ninth inning. The first baseman also flew out to right and grounded out to second, which ended his hitting streak at 15 games.

Bertram’s collar temporarily cooled his hot bat. His overall average is .271, although he’s hit .350 over his last 10 games.


Erie reliever Zach Simons celebrated his 25th birthday Sunday. Simons is 1-1 with a 3.91 earned-run average in 23 innings.


Toledo Mud Hens catcher Max St. Pierre is hitting .182 against International League pitching since his May 13 promotion from the SeaWolves. St. Pierre has appeared in six games for the Detroit Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate.

Also called up from Erie to Toledo that day was starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA for the Mud Hens.


Trenton welcomes Erie to New Jersey as the second-place team in the league’s Eastern Division. The Thunder are two games behind New Hampshire (26-16).

Trenton outscored the SeaWolves 16-3 in the teams’ season-opening series.

The games will start at 7:05 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. First pitch for Tuesday is 10:35 a.m.

Trenton’s probable series starters were not available. Erie’s probable starters are: LH Duane Below (2-3, 4.11 ERA) on Monday; RH Thad Weber (2-4, 4.83) on Tuesday; LH Jon Kibler (3-3, 4.444) on Wednesday; and RH Brooks Brown (3-2, 4.55) on Thursday.

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves postgame notes for May 23

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Thunder keep SeaWolves in spin

From staff reports

TRENTON, N.J. -- This is turning into a season of streaks for the Erie SeaWolves.

Erie lost its sixth game in a row Monday at Trenton by a score of 6-4.

That loss followed a four-game sweep by Altoona at Jerry Uht Park and Richmond's 5-1 win May 20, which snapped the 'Wolves' four-game winning streak.

Erie (23-22) started the season with an eight-game losing streak and then later won six games in a row.

Josh Burrus, who led his team with a 2-for-4, three-RBI night, singled home Erie's first run in the top of the fourth with two outs. Cesar Nicolas scored to snap a scoreless tie.

But Erie starter Duane Below walked Trenton's Justin Christian to lead off the bottom half of the inning, setting off a five-run rally that would sink the 'Wolves.

Below dropped to 2-4 on the season and saw his ERA climb to 4.98 after allowing five earned runs before being replaced by Anthony Shawler.

Erie's sixth-inning comeback fell short, though it closed the score to 5-4 when Burrus homered to left field to score Michael Bertram, who had just doubled home Nicolas.

Trenton (25-18) tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning, and the SeaWolves went down 1-2-3 in the ninth against closer Eric Wordekemper.

Thunder reliever Wilkins Arias picked up the win to improve to 3-1.

Erie and Trenton play today at 10:35 a.m. in the second game of a four-game series

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Thunder keep SeaWolves in spin

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SeaWolves lose seventh straight

From staff reports

TRENTON, N.J. -- The Erie SeaWolves were limited to just three hits and lost their seventh straight game 4-0 to the Trenton Thunder today before a crowd of 6,628 at Waterfront Park.

It was Erie's first shutout loss since April 13. It's also the team's longest losing streak since starting the season 0-8.

Erie led the Eastern League's Western Division by a half-game May 19, when it last won a game. At 23-23, the SeaWolves now are six games out of first place.

Trenton (26-18) is a half-game behind New Hampshire for the Eastern Division lead.

Lance Pendleton (2-2) and relief pitcher Josh Schmidt dominated the SeaWolves. Shawn Roof had two of Erie's hits.

Erie's Thad Weber (2-5) allowed four runs, two of them earned, and 10 hits in 62/3 innings. He gave up three consecutive two-out singles in the second inning to allow the winning run.

Erie is scheduled to play at Trenton again Wednesday and Thursday at 7:05 p.m. The SeaWolves have a 2-11 record at Waterfront Park since 2008.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - SeaWolves lose seventh straight

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SeaWolves succumb in unlucky 13th

Harrisburg third baseman Josh Johnson cleared the bases with a two-out double in the top of the 13th inning, as the Senators outlasted the Erie SeaWolves 5-2 late Saturday night at Jerry Uht Park.

Johnson’s fourth hit of the lengthy contest barely eluded the glove of Erie center fielder Wilkin Ramirez. The Senators’ Brad Coon, Jhonatan Solano and Tim Pahuta scored before Johnson was thrown out at third.

Harrisburg’s Hassan Pena saved the win by retiring the side in Erie’s at-bats. Pena made a winner of Zechry Zinicola (1-0), while SeaWolves closer Luis Marte (0-2) took the loss.

Erie led 2-1 going into the ninth thanks to Andy Dirks’ solo home run in the fifth. Dirks had three hits and was a triple away from the cycle.

The Senators, though, forced extra innings when Edgardo Baez easily scored from second on Solano’s hit-and-run single to center off Erie reliever Anthony Shawler.

The 13-inning outcome left both teams at 24-25, and also made for a short night. Erie and Harrisburg are back at the Uht on Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.

GoErie.com Blogs: Extra Innings - SeaWolves succumb in unlucky 13th

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Erie SeaWolves lose to Harrisburg Senators



Sunday saw the Erie SeaWolves add three home runs to their league-leading total (56) and one loss to their record (26).

As baseball equations go, the latter sum is bigger.

Harrisburg, aided by a five-run first inning, held on for an 8-6 victory before 3,696 at Jerry Uht Park. Tim Pahuta socked his first two homers of the season, including a two-run shot that capped the Senators' early rally.

Erie (24-26) countered with Audy Ciriaco's first-inning grand slam, and later tied the score at 6-all in the third on solo homers by Wilkin Ramirez and Josh Burrus.

The 'Wolves, though, never scored again.

Harrisburg (25-25) took the lead for good on Danny Espinosa's RBI single in the fourth. Pahuta's second homer off Erie starter Thad Weber (2-6) gave the Senators the two-run lead they held the rest of the way.

"One day, we're only hitting well. Another day, we're only pitching well," Ramirez said. "We've just got to put them together. If we can do that, I know we'll be fine."

Ramirez was contrite as he spoke, and not only from Erie's latest loss. Despite crushing his Eastern League-best 14th homer, manager Phil Nevin benched the center fielder for failing to run out a pop up during his next at-bat.

"I know better than that," said Ramirez, who personally apologized to his teammates in the clubhouse. "I just made a wrong decision. I've been in this game long enough to know that if you hit the ball, you better run."

Nevin accepted Ramirez's apology, but was upset for another reason after the game. He was ejected in the bottom of the ninth for disputing a runner's interference call.

The SeaWolves' Justin Henry, who led off with a single, tried to break up Espinosa's relay throw to first after being forced at second on an Andy Dirks grounder to Harrisburg second baseman Michael Martinez.

Dirks beat Espinosa's relay throw to first, but became Erie's second out when umpire Jon Saphire ruled Henry slid out of the baseline. The call didn't enrage Nevin, but its timing did.

"I don't know how you can make that call after ruling (Dirks) safe," said Nevin, who's been tossed by the same umpiring crew three times this season.

The unusual double play was an appropriate epilogue for Erie's day on the bases.

Cale Iorg was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple to lead off the third. The SeaWolves also ran themselves out of a seventh-inning rally with Chris White at second and Michael Bertram at first.

White was caught in a rundown, but made it back to second. Problem was, so was Bertram, was called out for occupying the same bag.

"It wasn't a double steal," the Erie first baseman said. "We (each) had the green light, but I guess we were both too aggressive trying to get into scoring position."

Burrus singled White to third with two outs, but Harrisburg reliever Rafael Martin came in and whiffed Ciriaco to end the threat.

Ciriaco's first-inning slam was the biggest of Erie's 13 hits. The Senators also totaled 13, including nine off Weber, who pitched at home for the first time since May 2.

Harrisburg's Chuck James (1-0) won in relief of former Erie starter Andrew Kown.

GoErie.com: Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - Erie SeaWolves lose to Harrisburg Senators

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