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SeaWolves have Lone Star flavor on the field

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves, back row from left, Austin Wood, Bryan Pounds, Jared Gayhart, front row from left, Chance Ruffin, Ben Guez, and Bryan Holaday, reside in Texas.JANET B. CAMPBELL/ERIE TIMES-NEWS

Lockout or not, it's a lock that 224 college football players will hear their names called when the National Football League Draft starts Thursday.

The odds are equally solid that this life-changing event will affect some who call Texas home.

And, yes, Jared Gayhart confirmed to Pennsylvania's high school football fans that the sport is every bit as much a way of life in the Lone Star State as it is here.

Likely more.

"It's the real deal," said Gayhart, an Erie SeaWolves relief pitcher and Katy, Texas, native. "Baseball has always been my number one sport, but football is king there. Especially if you were in the town I was in."

Not to mention the position he held.

Gayhart, 24, is familiar with some of the "Friday Night Lights" aura that was brought to the national conscious after author Buzz Bissinger's acclaimed 1990 book about the culture of Texas high school football.

He was a four-year starter on the Katy High School football team, highlighted by an appearance in the state's 5A Division II championship game, and two seasons as the Tigers' starting quarterback.

Despite that status, baseball remained Gayhart's athletic calling. He played in junior college, and then got a scholarship to pitch and play outfield for Rice University in Houston.

"Even though I was a quarterback, it wasn't tough to walk away from football," Gayhart said.

Nor was it overly tough for five other current SeaWolves.

Gayhart's Texas drawl isn't unique to Erie's locker room. That's because it's also heard in the voices of pitchers Chance Ruffin (Austin) and Austin Wood (Kingwood); third baseman Bryan Pounds (Houston); catcher Bryan Holaday (Dallas); and outfielder Ben Guez (Houston).

The six comprised the most SeaWolves from one state when they came north from the Detroit Tigers' spring training camp at Lakeland, Fla. However, they knew of each other or played against each other long before then.

"We're giving the other guys a hard time about that," Ruffin said. "If we have to gang up against another state, I think we've got that covered."

None of the six are more familiar with each other than Ruffin and Wood. They were teammates for two years with the University of Texas.

Ruffin's baseball path is strikingly similar to his father's.

Bruce Ruffin pitched for the 1983 Longhorns, whose roster included a fireballer named Roger Clemens, and helped them win the College World Series. He then embarked on a 12-season Major League Baseball career.

Bruce Ruffin's success was a reason why Chance's football resume never went beyond his freshman year at Lake Travis High School in Austin.

"I didn't have any trouble with it," the 22-year-old right-hander said about walking away from the gridiron. "My passion has always been baseball, no doubt in my mind. Even if I had been good enough (for football) at a higher level, it wouldn't have been an option for me. I still would have rather played baseball."

Wood, 24, did what he could to be on a mound somewhere every month when he was a scholastic pitcher. However, he admitted regret for not at least trying out for football at Kingwood, even though it was traditionally far from the suburban Houston school's best sport.

"We won five state championships my senior year, but not in football," Wood said. "The mayor actually gave us our own day for that."

Pounds' football hopes at Houston's North Shore High School were snuffed out by his size. Even now, Erie's roster lists the 25-year-old at 195 pounds.

"I did have interest," Pounds said of football, "but I wouldn't have played where I was at. We had some pretty big guys at North Shore. We won the 5A title my senior year, but I wouldn't have stood a chance at getting in (a game).

"I probably wouldn't even be here if I played," Pounds said with a chuckle.

Holaday, 23, had his designs on football glory quickly quashed by a coach long associated with athletics at Dallas' W.T. White High School.

"I was going to play my freshman year," he said, "but the baseball coach (David Shepherd) was also a football coach and he wasn't going to let me play. I could've practiced, but he wasn't going to let me get in (games) because he needed me on the baseball team."

Guez's background is unique to the SeaWolves' six Texans.

Not only did the 24-year-old not play football at Houston's Lamar High School, he's the only one who played college baseball outside the state.

At The College of William & Mary, of all places.

Guez, who played in nine games for Erie in 2010, received a baseball scholarship from the faraway Williamsburg, Va., school. College scouts spotted him at a Florida camp, one which he attended only after a boyhood friend finessed Guez's appearance.

"It was out of left field," Guez said. "I didn't know anything about (William & Mary) coming from Texas, but it was a great school and it ended up being a great fit for me."

Guez said he went through a similar scenario as Pounds when it came to toying with high school football.

"I was at a 5A school," he said, "and we had 10 to 12 guys who were going (NCAA) Division I. I wouldn't have stood a chance of playing, unless I played cornerback or something."

Guez said the "Friday Night Lights" culture isn't as prevalent in the hustle and bustle of Houston or Dallas.

"But if you go to see teams just outside the city," he said, "they do live and die for Texas football. Other sports too, but always Texas football."

Or, as Ruffin said, "In Texas, there's two sports that matter: football and spring football."

SeaWolves have Lone Star flavor on the field - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Monday's SeaWolves game postponed

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves first baseman Rawley Bishop catches the ball as Altoona Curve's Jeremy Farrell races toward first during the 4th inning of the game at Jerry Uht Park on April 8. Farrell was out

Chris Cron broke even Monday.

The Erie SeaWolves' manager had one bad problem created and one good problem solved.

The bad was the SeaWolves' third postponed game in 10 days, and second of their current homestand. They must play their second consecutive Eastern League doubleheader at Jerry Uht Park after Monday's four-game series opener against Reading was wiped out by Erie's seemingly unending rain.

The SeaWolves (7-8) and Phillies (11-5) were rescheduled for two today, with the first pitch of their seven- inning opener scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Erie also played a doubleheader Saturday, after Friday's game against Bowie was postponed because of wet weather. The league was idle Sunday for Easter.

The good news for Cron was the return of Rawley Bishop, 24, to Erie's active roster. The first baseman had been on the disabled list since April 11, two days after he sprained the MCL in his left knee during Erie's third game of the season.

"It brings a smile to our face as bad as the weather's been," Cron said of Bishop. "He's a big part of this club, and it was too bad he got hurt."

Before being injured, Bishop, who wasn't available for comment Monday, hit .222 with an RBI in nine at-bats. He's still expected to platoon with Michael Bertram as Erie's first baseman and designated hitter.

Bryan Pounds mostly served as the SeaWolves' DH in Bishop's absence. He was considered the team's No. 2 third baseman behind Francisco Martinez, but won't revert to Erie's bench. Instead, he got promoted.

Pounds, 25, was summoned to the Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens largely because of his .314 batting average and .510 slugging percentage with the SeaWolves.

"As a player, you always want to make it tough on a manager to fill out his lineup card," Cron said, "and these guys do that. It would have been a tough situation for me, but it's not in the cards now, and congratulations to Poundsie for moving on up."

The Phillies split two games when they hosted Erie on April 18-19 at FirstEnergy Stadium. They lead the league's Eastern Division because their offense was first in batting average (.281), home runs (17) and slugging percentage (.440) before Monday's action.

Cody Overbeck and Matt Rizzotti haven't been merely the 1-2 punch for Reading; they've been more like battering rams.

Overbeck ranked first in the league with six homers, 18 RBIs and a .717 slugging percentage. His power is complemented by Rizzotti, whose .411 average and 23 hits also were league bests before Monday.

"This (series) is one of those challenges to see what kind of character they have in going up against a veteran ballclub," Erie pitching coach Ray Burris said. "I thought we did a good job the two games we played (at Reading), and from what we learned from that series. We'll see how well they retained that information."

Burris will oversee an Erie rotation that has been weather-altered a second time.

Cron said he'll send out go right-hander pitcher L.J. Gagnier and veteran left-hander Ramon Garcia as today's starters. Gagnier (1-1) was supposed to face Reading on Monday, while Garcia (0-0) will make his first start after last week's recall from Toledo.

Luke Putkonen is Erie's probable starter for Wednesday's game, followed by ace Jacob Turner on Thursday afternoon.

Monday's SeaWolves game postponed - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Bishop returns with bang in SeaWolves' doubleheader sweep of Phillies

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News


Welcome back, Rawley Bishop.


Erie SeaWolves' Rawley Bishop watches his grounder during the 3rd inning of the game against the Reading Phillies at Jerry Uht Park

The Erie SeaWolves first baseman, who hadn't played since April 9 because of a knee injury, made a spectacular return during Tuesday's doubleheader against the Reading Phillies at Jerry Uht Park.

Bishop singled and hit a home run during the SeaWolves' 4-0 victory in the opener. Not satisfied there, he then lined the game-winning double in the bottom of the seventh inning that capped Erie's 4-3 win in the second game.

"It's been a hard 15 days not being able to go out there," said Bishop, who came off the disabled list Monday after an MCL sprain. "Then, when I was off the DL we had the rainout (Monday). So it was a good feeling to be back."

A crowd of 1,589 watched some or all of Erie's third doubleheader in 10 days, and second of its current homestand. Tuesday's sweep was the first of those three for the 9-8 SeaWolves, who beat an 11-7 Reading team that began the day with the Eastern League's best record.

The Phillies appeared to salvage a split in the second game when Freddy Galvis' solo homer in the top of the seventh gave them a 3-1 lead.

Erie's Francisco Martinez struck out looking to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but Shawn Roof and pinch-hitter Justin Henry followed with a walk and a single against Phillippe Aumont (0-2). Phillies manager Mark Parent pulled the reliever after Jamie Johnson's opposite-field single to left scored Roof.

Reading right-hander Justin De Fratus retired Erie's Brandon Douglas on a fly out right for the second out, but couldn't prevent Bishop's storybook heroics.

The SeaWolves' slugger lined a 1-2 pitch past a diving third baseman Carlos Rivero and into Erie's bullpen.

Henry and Johnson scored without a relay to the plate. Bishop was mobbed by his teammates after he reached base for the fifth time over the doubleheader.

Bishop said he felt no affects from the knee at the plate or in the field.

"I'd never had any problems with my knees," the 24-year-old Detroit Tigers prospect said. "Our trainer (Chris McDonald) did a great job with me. We took the rehab step by step, and when it got to be more of a feeling thing I was good to go."

Erie's rally made a winner of Chance Ruffin (1-1) who closed out Reading's seventh. Ruffin didn't appear in Tuesday's opener, nor did any of his bullpen mates, courtesy of L.J. Gagnier.

The right-hander (2-1) went the distance for a two-hit shutout.

Gagnier only allowed Reading a first-inning double to Michael Spidale and Fidel Hernandez's third-inning single. He walked one and struck out, which included the Phillies' side in the ninth.

Gagnier was prouder that he saved Erie's bullpen more than the shutout.

"That's huge," he said. "When you play a doubleheader, maybe that second game goes extra innings. Burn a bunch of guys in the first game, and then you're thin. And we still have to go the next two games against these guys."

Reading's main guys, Cody Overbeck and Matt Rizzotti, led the league in every major offensive category before Tuesday. Gagnier held them hitless in the opener, which was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth.

That's when Erie catcher Bryan Holaday hit a three-run homer off Phillies starter Austin Hyatt (2-1). Deik Scram, who led off with a double, and Francisco Martinez also scored on Holaday's second homer this season.

Bishop made it 4-0 an inning later with a solo blast off the batter's eye in center

Bishop returns with bang in SeaWolves' doubleheader sweep of Phillies - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Phillies rip SeaWolves for 14 runs, 17 hits

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves base runner Shawn Roof tries to take out Reading Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis who turns a double play in the 7th inning at Jerry Uht Park on April 27

Erie and Reading continued to demonstrate why they're Eastern League leaders in runs scored Wednesday.

Especially Reading, which continued to make Luke Putkonen's first year of Double-A baseball a tough one.

The Phillies pummeled Erie's starting pitcher for nine runs and eight hits over the first three innings en route to a 14-6 win before 926 at Jerry Uht Park.

Reading totaled 17 hits off Erie's first three pitchers, with no batter more a menace than Stephen Susdorf.

The right fielder went 5-for-5 with eight RBIs, totals that included three-run homers off Putkonen in the second and third innings.

Susdorf wasn't the Phillies' only offensive terror. Carlos Rivero finished with four hits and scored four times, while No. 9 hitter Tuffy Gosewisch contributed three hits and five RBIs.

"Just glad it's over," manager Chris Cron said of Erie's worst loss of 2011. "You're going to have those types of games here, but it's just one loss. It's not like it's more than that."

The SeaWolves dropped to 9-9 in their latest bid for a three-game winning streak. Before Wednesday, they hadn't lost any game by more than four runs.

Reading improved to 12-7 in a series that pits the league's top two teams in reaching home plate. The Phillies now have 101, followed by Erie at 95.

"It just felt good to get back out there, get some runs on the board and rebound from last night," Susdorf said of Reading, which was swept by Erie in Tuesday's doubleheader.

Erie held an early lead Wednesday, thanks to Rawley Bishop.

The first baseman muscled an inside fastball from Reading starter Ryan Edell (2-0) over the center-field fence for a three-run home run in the bottom of the first.

Bishop has recorded five hits, two homers and six RBIs in the three games he's played since coming off the disabled list Monday.

Erie's lead was short-lived, though, as the Phillies overwhelmed Putkonen (0-2) after the right-hander retired them in order in the first.

Susdorf tied the score in the second with his first three-run homer. Two batters later, Gosewisch's solo homer gave Reading a permanent lead.

The Phillies then batted around for a five spot in the third that chased Putkonen. Susdorf's second three-run shot was followed by a Gosewisch RBI single that made it 9-3.

"Just got behind in the count and got pitches up," said Putkonen, who hasn't made it out of the third inning of his last two starts. "You get balls up in (the zone) and anyone can hit. It's a long season, and I hope I learn from this."

Cron hoped so too.

"I'm sure Luke didn't locate as well as he would have liked," he said, "but (Reading) didn't miss many opportunities. Bottom line, you've got to tip your hat to them more than anything."

The SeaWolves still managed 10 hits when Francisco Martinez's ninth-inning double drove in Ben Guez, who also tripled and scored in the fourth. Martinez also hit a solo homer off Edell in the seventh.

Erie's Brandon Douglas joined Bishop and Martinez with two hits in the loss.

Wednesday's nine-inning game was the SeaWolves' first since April 21, the opener of a seven-game home stand that ends today. Their 11:05 a.m. start against Reading is the first of three school day games.

Phillies rip SeaWolves for 14 runs, 17 hits - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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SeaWolves speechless after going scoreless

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves pitcher Jacob Turner pitches against the Reading Phillies at Jerry Uht Park on April 28. Turner took the loss in the SeaWolves 4-0 defeat, their first shutout of the season

The Erie SeaWolves had no true scoring chances during Thursday's 4-0 loss to Reading.

No wonder Jeff Kunkel mustered only a few words to describe it.

"Frustrating," the Erie catcher said. "Sorry, don't know what else to say."

Kunkel went hitless before a school-day crowd of 1,607 that not only watched three Reading pitchers shut out the SeaWolves on four hits, but deny them any base runner beyond first.

Right-handers Chris Kissock, Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus helped the Phillies (13-7) split the teams' four-game series and send Erie into its seven-day road trip at 9-10.

The SeaWolves had batters reach base in seven of their nine trips to the plate, but were thwarted by double plays on four occasions. They also saw Audy Ciriaco picked off at first and Ben Guez caught stealing second.

Erie's frustration was augmented because Kissock (1-2) began the game with a 7.98 earned-run average, the worst of any Reading pitcher.

"You can sum it up in a no-luck kind of way," SeaWolves manager Chris Cron said. "We kept putting the ball in play against (Kissock), but we couldn't get any luck offensively."

Kissock faced Erie's minimum through five innings. He allowed three hits and three walks over seven innings, but benefitted from three of Reading's double plays.

Kissock also picked off Ciriaco after allowing the SeaWolves shortstop to reach on his fielding error in the bottom of the second.

No Erie base runner was more stymied Thursday than Jamie Johnson.

The team's leadoff hitter singled twice and walked, but in each instance was immediately retired when teammate Brandon Douglas bounced into double plays.

"Sometime you've got to tip your hat to the pitchers," Johnson said. "My last at-bat (against De Fratus), I got on with a broken-bat (hit). He made a great pitch, but I just happened to get lucky.

"And (Kissock) threw a great game," Johnson said. "We tried to do with him what we could."

Reading staked Kissock to a 2-0 lead thanks to solo home runs by Freddy Galvis and Derrick Mitchell off Erie's Jacob Turner (0-1), who made his first start since April 18 because of two postponed games.

Galvis led off with a shot off the Uht Park screen beyond right field. Mitchell's was an inside-the-park home run; his high liner off the left-center field wall sharply caromed away from Johnson and into a vacant portion of center field.

Fidel Hernandez scored the Phillies' third and fourth runs on RBIs by Jeremy Slayden and Galvis. Turner surrendered all four runs on nine hits over seven innings.

It was the second time in five starts that the Detroit Tigers' 2009 first-round draft pick pitched that long.

"I felt all right," said Turner, whose loss was his first decision of any kind in Double-A. "It didn't feel like 10 days off because of all the rainouts. I felt good out there. I didn't catch too many breaks, but that happens."

Thursday's game was the second 4-0 result of the series. Erie won by that same score when L.J. Gagnier blanked the Phillies on two hits in the first game of Tuesday's doubleheader at Uht Park.

The loss concluded the SeaWolves' 3-4 home stand, which included doubleheaders against Bowie and Reading. Erie begins a seven-day road trip with today's three-game series opener at Altoona, followed by four at Binghamton.

SeaWolves speechless after going scoreless - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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SeaWolves' comeback bid falls short

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- The Erie SeaWolves' comeback from a seven-run deficit fell short Friday night in an 8-6 loss to the Altoona Curve.

The 'Wolves (9-11), who trailed 7-0 after five innings, clawed back with a run in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the eighth. But Erie went quietly in the ninth inning and lost its third in a row in front of 2,592 fans at Blair County Ballpark.

Erie's Mark Sorensen started the game and surrendered four runs in the second inning. With two outs, Curve batters Tony Sanchez and Kris Watts walked before Miles Durham and Brad Chalk smacked back-to-back doubles. Sorensen balked home Chalk to make it 4-0.

The deficit increased to 7-0 in a three-run fifth when Altoona (10-10) strung together five singles.

Bryan Holaday went 3-for-4 and knocked in two runs for the 'Wolves, and Ben Guez tripled as part of a 2-for-4 performance that raised his average to .379.

Sorensen took the loss for Erie on the mound, surrendering six earned runs in four-plus innings to raise his ERA to 4.71. He walked four and struck out one.

The 'Wolves put a scare in the Curve in the top of the eighth inning when Rawley Bishop walked, Deik Scram doubled, Guez walked and Michael Bertram hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. After Francisco Martinez walked to reload the bases, Holaday doubled to make itn 8-5. Jamie Johnson brought home Erie's final run with a groundout.

Aaron Pribonic (2-0) got the win for Altoona, while closer Noah Krol earned his sixth save.

The two teams play again today at Blair County Ballpark at 5:30 p.m.

SeaWolves' comeback bid falls short - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves shut out Altoona Curve

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- Left-hander Casey Crosby gave hope to Erie fans Saturday by pitching seven scoreless innings as the SeaWolves ended a three-game losing streak by defeating the Curve 5-0 in front of 4,352 fans at Blair County Ballpark.

Erie (10-11) scored the only run Crosby needed in the second inning. Audy Ciriaco led off with a double and Deik Scram reached via a walk. A wild pitch put the runners in scoring position before Michael Bertram scored Ciriaco with a single.

The 'Wolves tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning.

After a Scram single, an error and a walk loaded the bases, Ben Guez's triple two batters later gave Erie a 4-0 lead. Another error accounted for the SeaWolves' fifth run.

Scram, Bertram and Bryan Holaday each had a pair of hits to lead the SeaWolves' offense.

Crosby (1-1) had a season-high seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits. In his past two starts, Crosby has allowed only one run in 12 innings.

The win Saturday was his first since August 2009, when he was pitching for the West Michigan Whitecaps; he missed almost all of last season with elbow problems.

Jeff Locke (1-3) took the loss for Altoona (10-11).

Erie SeaWolves shut out Altoona Curve - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves lose to Altoona Curve

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- A rainy Sunday afternoon came to a dismal end as the Erie SeaWolves lost to the Altoona Curve 6-5 in the series finale at Blair County Ballpark.

After sitting through a rain delay for almost 2 hours, the teams traded runs in the first inning.

Erie (10-12) scored twice off Aaron Thompson thanks to Rawley Bishop's two-run double. Altoona returned the favor when Brock Holt led off with a triple and later scored before Starling Marte made it 2-2 on an Erie error.

Altoona (11-11) grabbed the lead in the second inning when Brad Chalk scored from second base on a two-out single.

Erie tied the game in the fourth inning when Justin Henry scored from second base on Thompson's wild pitch.

In the sixth, Altoona's Miles Durham reached on a single and later scored on Holt's hit.

Erie regained the lead in the eighth. With two outs, Francisco Martinez appeared to strike out but the ball eluded the catcher and allowed Martinez to reach base. Henry then walked before Shawn Roof belted a two-run double.

Altoona answered in the bottom of the inning. With Tony Sanchez on second, Chalk hit an RBI double to tie the game. He scored on an errant throw to first by third baseman Audy Ciriaco during the following at-bat by Holt.

Altoona's Michael Dubee (1-1) earned the win while Chance Ruffin (1-2) took the loss for Erie.

Erie SeaWolves lose to Altoona Curve - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Binghamton Mets beat Erie SeaWolves 5-2

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The Binghamton Mets handed the Erie SeaWolves their fifth loss in the past six games with a 5-2 decision Monday night at NYSEG Stadium.

The Mets scored twice in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead, which they never relinquished.

Allan Dykstra scored on a sacrifice fly and Carlos Guzman scored on an error by SeaWolves shortstop Shawn Roof.

The Mets scored single runs in the sixth and eighth innings and closed out Erie the rest of the way.

Jamie Johnson had three hits for the SeaWolves (10-13), including a leadoff home run, his third, in the first inning.

Francisco Martinez went 2-for-4 with a double for Erie.

The SeaWolves took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Rawley Bishop opened the inning with a single and eventually scored on a double by Bryan Holaday.

Luke Putkonen took the loss for the SeaWolves, giving up three runs, two earned, in four innings pitched. Putkonen dropped to 0-3 and with an 8.27 earned-run average.

Brad Holt earned the win for Binghamton (8-13), pitching seven innings and striking out four.

The SeaWolves' hitters struggled in clutch situations, going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Erie had a scoring opportunity in the eighth inning when it put runners on second and third with two outs. However, the threat ended when Michael Bertram popped out.

Leadoff hitter Jordany Valdespin had three hits to lead Binghamton's nine-hit attack.

Binghamton Mets beat Erie SeaWolves 5-2 - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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SeaWolves-Mets game rained out

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Eastern League doubleheaders, like the rainfall totals causing them, continue to accumulate for the Erie SeaWolves.

Erie, which played three doubleheaders last month, had its fifth overall created after Tuesday night's game at Binghamton was postponed because of inclement weather. NYSEG Stadium officials waited only minutes to call off the second game in the teams' original four-game series.

It was the fifth rainout of the season for the SeaWolves.

The SeaWolves and Mets will play a May 31 doubleheader at Binghamton. It's the first of two the teams are currently scheduled to play, with the second June 28 at Jerry Uht Park.

Erie (10-13) and Binghamton (8-13) will resume their current series today at 6:35 p.m. The Mets claimed Monday's opener 5-2. Ben Guez recorded one of the SeaWolves' eight hits in that loss. The outfielder, whose .338 batting average was sixth in the league after Monday's action, hit .365 in April.

That statistic was the chief reason Guez was an Erie nominee for the league's player of the month award. Starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier (2-1, 2.63 earned-run average) was its other. The league is expected to announce its April winner later this week.

SeaWolves manager Chris Cron announced that right-handed prospect Jacob Turner, who was supposed to start Tuesday, will be bumped back to tonight. Turner (0-1) will try to lower the team's 4.64 earned-run average, which entering Tuesday's games was last in the league.

The SeaWolves conclude their series at NYSEG on Thursday, then return to Erie for a six-game homestand against Bowie and Akron.

SeaWolves-Mets game rained out - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves beat Binghamton Mets

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- The Erie SeaWolves got to Binghamton's bullpen Wednesday night, scoring the game's last seven runs en route to a 9-3 win before 1,124 fans at NYSEG Stadium.

The SeaWolves (11-13) won for the first time this month and for only the second time in their past seven games.

Erie took the lead for good thanks to a five-run seventh inning.

Bryan Holaday tied the score at 3-all with a leadoff home run, but it was Ben Guez's three-run triple off the Mets' Edgar Ramirez (0-2) that highlighted the rally.

Jamie Johnson had one of his four singles during Erie's binge. Wednesday was the second time that the SeaWolves center fielder recorded four hits in one game this season.

Johnson, Brandon Douglas and Guez, the top three in Erie's lineup, produced seven of the team's 13 hits.

The comeback made a winner of left-hander Ramon Garcia (1-0), who pitched one inning in relief of Jacob Turner. The SeaWolves starter still seeks his first Double-A victory after he departed with Binghamton up 3-2.

Brahiam Maldonado's two-run homer off Turner in the fifth gave the Mets (8-14) that lead.

The SeaWolves conclude their abbreviated three-game series at Binghamton today, and then return to Jerry Uht Park on Friday for the start of a six-game home stand against the Bowie Baysox and Akron Aeros.

By then, Erie should have a new catcher on its roster.

The Detroit Tigers demoted two of their catchers Wednesday. John Murrian was recalled to Erie and Jeff Kunkel to Single-A Lakeland (Fla.)

Each was with Triple-A Toledo when the season began.

Erie SeaWolves beat Binghamton Mets - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves lose to Binghamton Mets

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Preventing a shutout was about the only thing the Erie SeaWolves accomplished against Binghamton on Thursday night.

Rawley Bishop's ninth-inning double drove in Jamie Johnson, but it was nowhere near enough for the SeaWolves to overcome a Mets team that never trailed after the first inning at NYSEG Stadium. Binghamton staked starting pitcher Brandon Moore to a 3-0 lead en route to its 7-1 win before 2,128 fans.

Erie (11-14) returns to Jerry Uht Park today after a 2-4 road trip to Altoona and Binghamton. The SeaWolves open a six-game homestand with three against Bowie.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., with fireworks to follow.

Moore (3-0) blanked Erie for 81/3 innings until Bishop's RBI double. The right-hander allowed five hits over that span, walked one and struck out five.

Mark Sorensen had no such success against the Mets (9-14), who saw eight of their nine starters reach base. Sorensen (1-2) was tagged for 11 hits and all seven of Binghamton's runs over seven innings.

Leadoff hitters Jordany Valdespin and Mike Fisher combined for five of Binghamton's 12 hits and four of its runs. Valdespin accounted for the first of the hosts' four doubles, while Fisher's two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh helped them to their 7-0 lead.

Binghamton won a series finale that was completed in only 2 hours, 4 minutes.

Erie experienced its second roster move in as many days when right-handed reliever Lester Oliveros was promoted to Toledo. It's the second career Triple-A promotion for the 22-year-old Venezuelan, who was 2-0 with a 0.56 earned-run average in 16 innings of action for the SeaWolves.

Taking Oliveros' place in Erie's bullpen will be Zach Simons. The right-hander was an Eastern League All-Star last season, but he has struggled since beginning 2011 with the Mud Hens.

Simons, 25, was 0-1 with a 5.11 ERA in eight appearances. This will be his third stint with Erie in as many seasons.

Erie SeaWolves lose to Binghamton Mets - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Guez, Martinez homer as SeaWolves beat Baysox 10-2

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves left fielder Justin Henry catches a fly ball for an out during the 1st inning of the game against the Bowie Baysox at Jerry Uht Park on May 7

How appropriate that Erie SeaWolves fans received free light bulbs on the same night the team's offense shined brightly.

Ben Guez and Francisco Martinez each hit their third home runs for Erie, which scored in each of the first five innings of its 10-2 victory over the Bowie Baysox. A crowd of 3,884 watched the season's first Saturday night game at Jerry Uht Park.

The SeaWolves (12-15) won the second game of the teams' weekend series, while the Baysox dropped to 15-14. Their three-game matchup concludes today at 1:05 p.m.

Erie totaled 16 hits, one off its single-game best. The hosts pummeled Bowie starter Wynn Pelzer (1-3) for 10 of those hits and eight runs in their first five at-bats.

The SeaWolves did so even though Pelzer began the game with an excellent 1.44 earned-run average. The right-hander blanked Erie for four innings when he first faced them April 14.

"A two-seam (fastball) is his best pitch, and he throws it a lot," SeaWolves shortstop Audy Ciriaco said. "We had to be ready for that pitch."

Ciriaco's teammates were more than ready.

Erie led 2-0 after the first, when both runs were produced with two outs. Guez bounced a solo homer off the top of the right-center field fence, and Rawley Bishop, Audy Ciriaco and Bryan Holaday followed with consecutive singles to left to score a second run.

The SeaWolves added a single run in the second when Martinez reached with a leadoff walk, moved to third on Justin Henry's hit-and-run single, then scored when Bowie first baseman Robbie Widlansky dropped Pelzer's pickoff attempt.

Martinez alertly came home when the ball squirted into foul territory.

Erie added single runs in the third and fourth innings. Its pounding of Pelzer emphatically concluded in the fifth when Ciriaco and Holaday were hit by pitches, then trotted home when Martinez mashed a three-run homer to left-center.

The Double-A rookie called it one of his better trips to the plate.

"I was working early in that at-bat to get that count," Martinez said. "I finally got the pitch I wanted, and made good contact."

The SeaWolves added two runs in the bottom of the eighth to score double figures in a game for the second time in 2011.

Erie's early offense made a winner of starting pitcher L.J. Gagnier (3-1). The right-hander allowed Bowie's first run in the third and walked the bases loaded in the fourth, but got out of that jam to last seven innings for his team-high third win.

Guez, Martinez homer as SeaWolves beat Baysox 10-2 - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Guez, Martinez power SeaWolves to victory over Baysox

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves catcher John Murrian tags out Bowie Baysox baserunner Kyle Hudson at home plate in the third inning at Jerry Uht Park in Erie on May 8

Ben Guez and Francisco Martinez each hit home runs for the Erie SeaWolves on Sunday.

If that sounds familiar, it should. Not only did they do that in consecutive victories over Bowie, but they also accomplished it in less than 24 hours.

Guez provided Erie a permanent lead over the Baysox with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. Martinez added a solo shot in the sixth, good for insurance in the SeaWolves' 5-3 matinee victory over the Baysox at Jerry Uht Park.

A Mother's Day crowd of 1,965 watched Erie (13-15) take two of three from Bowie (15-15).

Sunday's temperatures weren't in the 70s, like Guez said after the game. However, like the brief homer streak he shares with Martinez, it was the first time that the SeaWolves played back-to-back home games in weather vastly superior to April's.

"Hopefully, that's all we need," said Guez, whose .326 batting average ranks among the Eastern League's best. "Maybe we'll get on a roll here and string together five, six, 10 wins. However many, we'd love to just keep this going."

Erie appeared to be thwarted in that bid thanks to Bowie starter Steve Johnson. The right-hander went into Sunday with a 0.56 earned-run average over five starts.

Johnson controlled Erie's offense over the first three innings, and even got out of trouble in the fourth.

But not the fifth.

The SeaWolves started their rally from a three-run deficit when Johnson (1-1) walked leadoff batter Justin Henry, who scored from first when John Murrian rifled a double down the left-field line and into Erie's bullpen.

It was Murrian's first RBI since being sent down to Erie on Wednesday from Triple-A Toledo.

Erie's Jamie Johnson then reached when he surprised the Baysox with a stellar bunt to the right of the pitcher's mound.

Steve Johnson retired Brandon Douglas on a pop up, but Guez made it 4-1 when he turned on a 1-1 pitch and blasted it off the clubhouse beyond left-center field.

Guez's homer gave him a team-high 19 RBIs.

Martinez, like Guez, then hit his fourth homer of the season in the sixth.

The third baseman, who earlier singled, has shown signs of improvement at the plate halfway through Erie's six-game homestand.

"He's swung a lot better the last couple weeks," Erie hitting coach Jerry Martin said of Martinez, whose average is .227. "We've made a couple changes. It looked like he was crouched too low (in his stance). We've got him a little more upright to where I think he sees the ball a little better."

The SeaWolves' offense got starting pitcher Luke Putkonen off the hook after the right-hander failed to make it out of the fourth inning for the third time in 2011. Once they did, Austin Wood (2-2) and three other relievers maintained Erie's lead with a one-hit shutout for 51/3 innings.

Erie played its seventh straight game minus Deik Scram. The veteran outfielder hasn't seen action since April 30 because of back spasms.

"Never had them (before)," said Scram, who added it's the first time he's had that problem in his six-year professional career. "It's just something that flared up on me."

Henry continued to play left field in Scram's absence.

The walk he drew to begin Sunday's decisive rally helped atone for a third-inning fielding error that brought about Bowie's first run.

Guez, Martinez power SeaWolves to victory over Baysox - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves defeat Akron, win 3rd in row

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves pitcher Jacob Turner photographed in Erie on April 5

Ben Guez and Francisco Martinez didn't homer in their third straight games for the Erie SeaWolves on Monday.

But a season-high winning streak and Jacob Turner's first career Double-A victory made for worthy compensation in their 10-3 victory at Jerry Uht Park.

A Buck Night crowd of 4,016 watched the SeaWolves win three in a row for the first time in 2011. They did so by pummeling Akron pitchers T.J. McFarland and Marty Popham for all their runs over the first four innings, along with 13 of their 15 hits.

Erie has accumulated at least 13 hits in three of the first four games in its current home stand.

"The whole (Detroit Tigers) organization is really a big preacher on being ready to hit," manager Chris Cron said of the SeaWolves' recent offensive prowess. "You know a baseball is coming at you, but you don't know where. Maybe it's inside, outside, up, down, sliding, curving. You don't know any of those things.

"All you do know is that it's a baseball," he said, "and you need to be ready to hit it. These guys are."

Leadoff batter Jamie Johnson was the only starter who didn't have a hit for Erie (14-15), but even he reached twice with walks. Audy Ciriaco singled three of the five times he reached base.

"That means a lot," said the SeaWolves shortstop, who also had three RBIs and scored twice. "You can tell the whole team is getting better at-bats. We're trying to do what we practice in the (batting) cages and take that to the field."

Ciriaco was a vital contributor when Erie sent 10 men to the plate in its six-run second inning. The SeaWolves already led Akron (14-17) by a 1-0 score when they pummeled T.J. McFarland (1-1) and Marty Popham.

Ciriaco and Bryan Holaday highlighted the binge with consecutive two-run hits, which made it 7-0 at the time.

That early lead made it all but certain that Turner (1-1) would claim his first victory in his sixth AA appearance. The ace right-hander departed two batters after he allowed Akron's first run, an unearned one, with two outs in the top of the seventh.

Turner, the Tigers' 2009 first-round draft pick, allowed five hits, three walks and struck out six. He recorded at least one strikeout in each of the first five innings.

Turner also was heartened because he's pitched into the sixth inning in five of his starts.

"The longest I went last year (in Single-A ball) was six innings, and that was only one time," he said. "To be able to pitch deeper into games is awesome. Last year, I had a lot of five-inning games no matter how well I did."

A lack of homers didn't stop Guez and Martinez from contributing at the plate. Guez went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored, while Martinez singled twice and scored Erie's final run in the fourth.

Erie SeaWolves defeat Akron, win 3rd in row - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves beat Akron Aeros, improve to .500

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Erie SeaWolves' Ben Guez, at back, jokes around with hitting coach Jerry Martin between the 4th and 5th inning of the game against the Akron Aeros on May 10

The Erie SeaWolves' Ben Guez ripped his Eastern League-leading fifth triple during Tuesday's game against Akron.

It turned out to be his last of any kind in the team's near future.

Guez helped Erie run its winning streak to four with an 8-5 victory before 1,373 fans at Jerry Uht Park. The right fielder doubled and tripled in three runs over his first two at-bats, helping the hosts take a quick 5-0 lead.

After the game, Guez learned that he received his second career Triple-A promotion to the Toledo Mud Hens. The 24-year-old departed Erie with a .340 batting average, ranked among the league's top 10, as well as a team-high 22 RBIs.

"It (stinks) that I have to leave this team," he said of the 15-15 SeaWolves, "but obviously it's a great opportunity. I feel like I earned it this time. Last year, I went up there on a whim. It was a roller-coaster ride.

"Now, I feel like I belong there."

Erie manager Chris Cron waited until after the game to inform Guez of the transaction. Cron said he regretted losing the outfielder's presence in the clubhouse.

"He's got a great personality, let alone the stuff he's done on the field for us," Cron said of Guez. "That part we're going to miss because you can't replace that."

The team's Tuesday transactions were supposed to include the additions of Bryan Pounds and Clay Timpner to Erie.

However, Timpner rejected the assignment and was released.

The 27-year-old outfielder signed with the Detroit Tigers in the offseason after a seven-year professional career in the San Francisco Giants' organization.

Pounds returns to Erie after hitting .375 in 10 games for Toledo. The 25-year-old third baseman was promoted April 25, thanks to his robust .314 average in 13 games for the SeaWolves.

Pounds rejoins an Erie offense that totaled 10 hits Wednesday. The SeaWolves have now recorded double figures for hits in four of the five games they've played on this homestand, which concludes this morning with an 11:05 game against the Aeros (14-18).

Guez began his Erie finale with an RBI double off the left-center field wall in the first inning. He then scored from second when Akron third baseman Kyle Bellows threw wild to first on Audy Ciriaco's hard bouncer.

Guez then capped the SeaWolves' three-run second with his triple. His opposite-field liner down the right-field line plated Jamie Johnson and Brandon Douglas.

"I'm really excited about how I've done," Guez said of his hitting, "and I hope I can do this same thing at Toledo."

Erie made it 7-0 with two more runs in the fourth off Akron's Matt Packer (0-5), the league's first pitcher with five losses. Francisco Martinez scored in that inning after his leadoff double extended his hitting streak to seven games.

The SeaWolves' Bryan Holaday extended his hitting streak to eight games with an eighth-inning double. The catcher matched Johnson for the team's longest hit streak this season.

Erie pitcher Mark Sorensen (2-2) won for the second time in six starts. The right-hander lasted six innings, and allowed only an unearned run in the fourth.

Akron rallied off Erie's bullpen, but Chance Ruffin struck out three of the five batters he faced for his third save.

Erie SeaWolves beat Akron Aeros, improve to .500 - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves' winning streak snapped by Akron Aeros

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News



Brandon Douglas, of the Erie SeaWolves, steals second base as Karexon Sanchez, second baseman for the Akron Aeros, tries to make the play in the first inning of their game at Jerry Uht Park, on May 11

There's no defense for walks, so Erie SeaWolves pitcher Casey Crosby didn't offer any Wednesday afternoon.

Crosby contained Akron to three hits over six innings of the Jerry Uht Park matinee.

But the starter's six walks, all over the first four innings, were the main reason the Aeros salvaged the teams' series finale with a 4-1 win before a student-heavy crowd of 4,099.

The loss ended the SeaWolves' winning streak at four games, and sent them into a weekend series at Altoona at 15-16.

They finished their six-game homestand with a 4-2 record, but missed out on their first winning mark since April 26.

Crosby (1-2) started the first and last games of that homestand. The top of the third was his only true out-of-control inning Wednesday, but it was damaging enough to give the Aeros (15-18) a lead they never relinquished.

Akron's Jordan Henry and Karexon Sanchez each scored after they reached on Crosby passes. Sanchez scored on the left-hander's wild pitch.

"I wasn't able to locate the strike zone at all," Crosby said. "I was happy with the way I settled down in the (fifth and sixth) innings. But obviously I'm very frustrated with myself today, especially when runs were coming at a premium."

And hits.

Erie and Akron combined for nine after their 44-hit barrage over the series' first two games.

The SeaWolves only managed three hits off Akron starter Kelvin De La Cruz (2-3) and two relievers. That total matched their fewest in one game this season.

"They threw a lot of good arms at us," Erie manager Chris Cron said. "We knew we weren't going to get a lot going, and we didn't."

Akron left fielder Donnie Webb snuffed out the SeaWolves' best chance at taking a lead.

De La Cruz struck out Erie's first two batters in the bottom of the fifth, but then walked Shawn Roof and Brandon Douglas around a Jamie Johnson single.

Rawley Bishop followed with a sharp liner to left, but Webb preserved the Aeros' two-run lead with a belly-first catch in the gap. Webb later scored the visitors' final run.

Erie averted a shutout the second time it loaded the bases. Bryan Pounds' grounder in the bottom of the eighth drove in Johnson from third.

However, that grounder also resulted in an Akron double play that greatly doused the SeaWolves' rally.

Aeros reliever Cory Burns stranded Douglas at third when he retired Audy Ciriaco on a line out to center. Burns pitched two innings of hitless ball for his 10th save.

Pounds and Francisco Martinez were among the SeaWolves who went hitless.

Pounds was the designated hitter in his first game for them since his April 25 promotion to Triple-A Toledo.

"The experience was great," said Pounds, who took the roster spot vacated by Ben Guez's call up to the Mud Hens. "I've never (played) in the major leagues, but they treat you real well up there."

Martinez saw his hitting streak end at seven games. The third baseman sought to match the current eight-game run by catcher Bryan Holaday, whom Cron sat for John Murrian on Wednesday.

Erie SeaWolves' winning streak snapped by Akron Aeros - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Developmental day for Crosby, Erie SeaWolves

When you miss the ball as regularly as Akron's hitters have this season, you have to resort to creativity to score runs.

The unusually lean Aeros, in recent years an Eastern League powerhouse stocked with prospects from the parent Indians, went into the finale of a three-game series against the SeaWolves on Wednesday batting .246 and ranked fifth from the bottom in the 12-team EL in runs scored.

They were able to escape Jerry Uht Park with a win after dropping the first two in the series mostly because of work they did on the base paths against Erie starter Casey Crosby, not what they did to get there.

Jump-started by a third-inning rally in which they parlayed two walks, a wild pitch and a double steal into a pair of runs, the Aeros held on for a 4-1 victory that, as much as anything, should serve as a valuable lesson for Crosby.

The 6-foot 5-inch left-hander had electric stuff at times, striking out five Aeros and allowing only three hits over six innings.

But his wildness -- and the distraction it created for him once Akron put runners aboard -- was his undoing on a day he would be wise to file in the memory banks as he ascends through the minors.

The Aeros ran early and often, stealing four bases against Crosby and catcher John Murrian and getting consistently big jumps.

Crosby said his early command issues kept him from focusing during some key moments, including a third-inning sequence in which Akron's Jordan Henry and Karexon Sanchez drew back-to-back, one-out walks, moved up on a double steal and scored on an infield single and a wild pitch, respectively.

What might have been a bloodless inning instead established the pace of a game in which Erie's quiet bats produced only three hits and the 'Wolves were held scoreless until the eighth.

"I started pretty rocky," said Crosby, who dropped to 1-2 but managed to lower his ERA to 4.55 from 4.94 in his sixth Double-A start. "They were probably timing my delivery. I probably wasn't doing a good job of holding runners on because I was more focused on trying to throw strikes."

Crosby used the word "frustrating" twice to describe his outing, in which he missed bats well enough to get a win, but missed the strike zone enough to avoid one.

In the dugout between innings, Erie manager Chris Cron advised Crosby, 22, for whom the parent Tigers maintain high hopes despite two injury-plagued seasons, to let Wednesday's game serve as a reminder that the higher you go in baseball, the more pitching becomes a juggling act.

"I told him you've got to be able to multitask," Cron said. "Today he was struggling with the strike zone, but they're still going to bunt and they're going to run, and you've got to be aware of that. But that's why he's here, to figure that stuff out."

Crosby will be fine if he keeps pitching the way he did over the final three innings Wednesday, when he silenced the Aeros for the most part, allowing two hits and striking out four, and did a somewhat better job of shortening Akron baserunners' leads.

The 'Wolves, who took four of six on their just-completed homestand against the Aeros and Bowie Baysox, also are fine, despite their underwhelming record.

At 15-16 overall, they remain just a game behind the Baysox (17-16) in the middling EL West, where no team is more than one game above or three games below .500.

Thanks to the vagaries of the league's geographic-based scheduling, the 'Wolves won't meet division rivals Richmond (15-18) and Harrisburg (16-16) for the first time until late May and early June, respectively.

"That's kind of weird," Cron said. "We've only played five teams so far (through a month and a half of the season). But it doesn't really matter what the schedule is; we just need to play well."

Wednesday wasn't a shining example of the 'Wolves' best baseball. But it might turn out to be an important growth day for Crosby, who, like his teammates, figures to see much brighter days ahead.

John Dudley: Developmental day for Crosby, Erie SeaWolves - Sports Column: John Dudley - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves lose 2nd straight game

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- The Erie SeaWolves had 15 hits Thursday against the Altoona Curve.

Unfortunately, they turned those 15 hits into just two runs -- both on solo home runs -- in a 7-2 loss to the Altoona Curve in front of 2,830 at Blair County Ballpark.

Altoona (16-16) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Tony Sanchez reached on a two-base error by shortstop Audy Ciriaco. Sanchez moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly.

Erie (15-17) took the lead in the fourth on solo blasts by Bryan Pounds and Michael Bertram.

Altoona put the game away with six runs in the sixth inning. The Curve sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.

The 'Wolves had scoring opportunities in the fifth through eighth innings, having runners in scoring position in each of the four innings with less than two outs. Each time, the Curve shut the door.

SeaWolves starter L.J. Gagnier (3-2) gave up seven runs, six hits and three walks in 52/3 innings.

Chris Leroux (1-1) pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve.

Erie SeaWolves lose 2nd straight game - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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SeaWolves lose 3rd in row

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- Blair County Ballpark, which features a roller coaster behind its right-field fence, provided an appropriate setting Friday for the recent dip in the Erie SeaWolves' up-and-down season.

The SeaWolves dropped their third consecutive game with a 6-2 loss at the hands of the Altoona Curve after coming off a four-game winning streak during a recent homestand,

The defeat marked the third three-game losing streak of the young season for the SeaWolves, who sit in fifth place in the Eastern League Western Division with a record of 15-18. Altoona improved to 17-16 and holds second place in the division.

The Curve took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first. Jordy Mercer's sacrifice fly scored Brock Holt, who had a leadoff single. Erie quickly tied the score in the top of the second on a Deik Scram ground-rule double to right-center that brought home Michael Bertram from second base.

Altoona pulled away with a three-run fifth inning. With one out, Erie starting pitcher Luke Putkonen walked Starling Marte and allowed a single to Eric Fryer. After Mercer flew out, Jeremy Farrell doubled to score Marte, and then catcher Tony Sanchez lined the first pitch he saw from Putkonen to left field for a ground-rule double, scoring Fryer and Farrell.

Altoona tacked on insurance runs in the seventh on an RBI single from Fryer and RBI double from Farrell. Erie scored once in the ninth when Scram lined a single to right, scoring Francisco Martinez.

Putkonen (0-4) continued a string of rough outings by allowing six earned runs in six innings of work. The right-hander walked one while striking out five, but allowed 11 hits. Opposing hitters have an overall batting average of .331 off Putkonen this season, and a .371 mark with runners in scoring position. Scram and Justin Henry both collected two hits for the SeaWolves. who have dropped 10-of-14 road games.

SeaWolves lose 3rd in row - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Erie SeaWolves capitalize on Altoona Curve errors

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

ALTOONA -- After failing to score a run through the first eight innings against the Altoona Curve on Sunday, it looked as if the Erie SeaWolves were going to drop their fifth straight game.

That changed in the ninth inning.

Erie tied the game at 1, then went on to win 2-1 in 13 innings in front of 3,413 at Blair County Ballpark.

With one out in the ninth, the SeaWolves' Jamie Johnson reached on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Brandon Douglas followed with an RBI double to tie the game.

In the 13th, Erie's Justin Henry, who had three hits in the game, laced a ball down the right-field line for a leadoff triple. On the relay throw in, an errant throw from Altoona's Miles Durham allowed Henry to score.

Erie (16-19) relievers Austin Wood and Chance Ruffin shut down the Curve in the bottom of the 13th inning.

Wood surrendered a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez, who later advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Erie turned to Ruffin, who got the final two outs to earn his fourth save.

Five SeaWolves pitchers combined to allow just seven hits. Starter Mark Sorensen gave up one run and five hits in eight innings. After Zach Simons pitched three innings and allowed just one hit, Rob Waite (1-1) stepped in and tossed one inning.

Erie SeaWolves capitalize on Altoona Curve errors - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Henry Named EL Player of the Week | Erie SeaWolves News

05/16/2011 12:56 PM ET

SeaWolves outfielder Justin Henry has been named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the period of May 9th-May 15th. He is the first SeaWolves player to win the award in 2011.

The 26-year old appeared in seven games last week for the SeaWolves and batted .464 (13-for-28) with one double, one triple, five runs scored, two RBI, three stolen bases, two walks and a .571 slugging percentage.

The 6'3", 180 lb. speedster reached base in all seven games he played in last week and had five multiple hit games, including going 4-for-4 on Thursday night at Altoona. He has reached base in 14 consecutive games for the SeaWolves and is hitting .440 with three doubles and 10 runs scored during that span.

Henry, who is a native of Houston, Texas, ranked first among all Eastern League players in batting average (.464) and hits (13) last week. He also finished ranked among the weekly leaders in stolen bases (3-tied 2nd), on-base percentage (.500-tied 3rd), OPS (1.071-tied 3rd), total bases (16-tied 4th) and slugging percentage (.571-tied 9th).

Justin, who is currently ranked second in the league in batting average (.368) and on-base percentage (.455), was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round of the 2007 draft after hitting .381 with 52 runs scored and 22 stolen bases in 65 games during his junior season as the University of Mississippi.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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Slumping SeaWolves return home vs. Thunder

From staff reports, Erie Times-News

The Erie SeaWolves begin a short homestand tonight when the team faces the Trenton Thunder in the first of three games. Tonight's game is scheduled to start at 6:35 and it is a Family Buck Night.

Erie comes into the game with a record of 16-19 and sits in last place in the Western Division of the Eastern League after losing four of its past five games. Justin Henry, the current Eastern League player of the week, leads the team with a .368 batting average and hit .464 last week with five runs scored and a .571 slugging percentage.

Trenton (20-17) is in third place in the Eastern Division and has won three of its past four games. Jose Gil is hitting .360 to lead the Thunder.

Trenton manager Tony Franklin was admitted to a hospital with chest pains last week and did not manage over this past weekend, according to the New Jersey Star Ledger. It is not known if Franklin will make the trip to Erie.

After the limited home series, the SeaWolves begin a seven-game road trip with four games in Bowie followed by three games with Richmond. The SeaWolves return to Jerry Uht Park on May 27.

Slumping SeaWolves return home vs. Thunder - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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Holaday's hit gives SeaWolves 1-0 win

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News


Bryan Holaday was at the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday. His 10-game hitting streak was in the balance.

Only, Holaday didn't know such a streak was on the line. What the Erie SeaWolves catcher did know was that teammate Bryan Pounds was on third base in a scoreless game against the Trenton Thunder.

Team and hitter all benefitted by the time the at-bat was over.

Holaday's line single to left-center field off Trenton reliever Josh Schmidt easily scored Pounds. It turned out to be the only run in Erie's 1-0 win before 1,044 fans at Jerry Uht Park.

"I was just trying to put one in play because we knew we had a tight (game) going," said Holaday, whose single nudged his hit streak to 11. "It worked out to being a base hit."

The SeaWolves (17-19) won their second straight in the opener of a three-game homestand. Casey Crosby and three relievers limited the Thunder (20-18) to four hits and also extended the pitching staff's best collective run of 2011.

Erie outlasted Altoona 2-1 in 13 innings at Blair County Ballpark on Sunday. That meant the team has allowed only one run over its past 22 innings of Eastern League action.

"That's a nice little roll they're on," SeaWolves manager Chris Cron said, "and we hope they can keep it going."

Cron figured Tuesday's scoring would be sparse because of Trenton starter Manny Banuelos. Baseball America ranked the left-hander No. 4 among the New York Yankees' prospects.

Banuelos didn't disappoint. He only allowed Erie two hits and struck out seven.

But another lefty largely matched Banuelos over those same six innings.

Crosby allowed all four of Trenton's hits and walked three. He got out of mini-jams in the second and fifth, and then retired the last six batters he faced.

"He was locating his fastball early in the game," Holaday said of Crosby. "He did a good job of mixing it inside and outside. Toward the end, he started finding his off-speed stuff. Once he started throwing his breaking balls and changeups for strikes, it made it really tough for (Trenton)."

Erie immediately scored upon Banuelos' departure.

Schmidt (1-2) walked Pounds to lead off the seventh, and then watched Erie's designated hitter advance to third on his two wild pitches.

Holaday followed with his one-out single.

Pounds' run also made a winner of reliever Jared Gayhart (2-0). Zach Simons followed, and then Chance Ruffin clinched Erie's third shutout victory with his fifth save.

Adam Calderone was a late defensive replacement for the SeaWolves. The Detroit Tigers assigned the 27-year-old outfielder to Erie after they acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays organization Tuesday.

Holaday's hit gives SeaWolves 1-0 win - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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New outfielder for Erie SeaWolves must wait for 1st start

By MIKE COPPER, Erie Times-News


Adam Calderone has 502 minor league games on his baseball résumé, long past the time when he should be antsy about appearing in another one.

But game No. 503 offers that kind of anticipation for Calderone.

That's because it will be the outfielder's first starting assignment for his new employer, the Detroit Tigers, and new team, the Erie SeaWolves.

"I'm excited, and even nervous," Calderone said. "As a result of this, I'm still nervous."

The "this" that Calderone cited was Wednesday night's postponed Eastern League contest between the SeaWolves and Trenton Thunder.

The middle game of their series was called off 30 minutes before the first pitch because of heavy rain that left Jerry Uht Park scattered in puddles.

The postponement was already the SeaWolves' sixth this season, and their fourth at home because of Erie's miserable spring weather.

Wednesday's game was rescheduled as part of an Aug. 16 doubleheader, when Trenton makes its second appearance at Uht Park. Erie now takes a 17-19 record into today's 11:05 a.m. school day game with the Thunder (20-18).

The SeaWolves beat Trenton 1-0 on Tuesday. Calderone, 27, was an eighth-inning defensive replacement in that game, but didn't bat.

The Fairfax, Va., native arrived in Erie hours after Detroit acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later and/or cash.

The Blue Jays drafted Calderone out of Florida Southern in the 23rd round of the 2006 amateur draft.

He played two seasons at the Lakeland, Fla., school, and in his junior year was a teammate of former SeaWolves outfielder Matt Joyce.

The duo helped the Moccasins win the 2005 NCAA Division II College World Series.

Calderone spent his entire professional career in Toronto's system before the trade. That included large portions of the past three seasons with the Eastern League's New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

"I'm very grateful for everything the Blue Jays gave me," Calderone said. "And I can already tell you I'm grateful for the Tigers bringing me over here."

Calderone only hit .171 in 10 games for New Hampshire this season. He attributed his anemic batting average to early-season back problems, which he said are now stable.

"It's nothing I'm really worried about," said Calderone, whose career average is .251. "Obviously, I'd like it to be higher. But the good thing in this game is you string together a couple of good games at the plate, and you're right back up there."

Erie manager Chris Cron also wasn't dissuaded by Calderone's average. Calderone's left-handed bat will help fill the void caused by Deik Scram's weekend promotion to Triple-A Toledo.

"Adam can play anywhere," Cron said. "Outfield is his primary position, so I can put him in left or right."

Wednesday's starting lineups had Calderone listed as Erie's right fielder and No. 7 hitter. Wherever he starts this morning, it'll be behind L.J. Gagnier. Cron said the right-handed pitcher (3-2, 3.86 earned-run average) will keep his start.

Trenton is still expected to send out left-hander Shaeffer Hall (2-3, 3.43) to help salvage a split of the shortened series.

New outfielder for Erie SeaWolves must wait for 1st start - Baseball: Erie SeaWolves - GoErie.com/Erie Times-News

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