SeaWolves Drop Home Opener to RubberDucks

Erie Seawolves

A tough third inning proved to be the deciding factor in the Erie SeaWolves home opener on Tuesday night at UPMC Park as they fell to the Akron RubberDucks 5-0. It was the first time Erie suffered a shutout this season.
Pedro Payano (1-1) continued his strong start to the

A tough third inning proved to be the deciding factor in the Erie SeaWolves home opener on Tuesday night at UPMC Park as they fell to the Akron RubberDucks 5-0. It was the first time Erie suffered a shutout this season.

Pedro Payano (1-1) continued his strong start to the season in his second appearance. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to start the day, but ran into trouble after hitting a batter in the third. Akron plated all of their runs in that third inning, drawing a walk, knocking two singles, and eventually a three-run home run by Trenton Brooks to cap the scoring. Payano played with thick skin, however. After allowing the home run, Payano retired the final eight batters he faced through the fifth inning, striking out seven of them.

The eleven punchouts tied a career high for Payano he established in 2016. Following Payano, Cale Coshow and Mark Leiter Jr. both pitched clean relief. Combined, the three Erie pitchers struck out a total of 15 batters, a new season high.

Akron pitching found no issue with the Erie offense in their win. Left-hander Eli Lingos allowed individual base hits in each of the first three innings, but only allowed one of them to reach second base. After Dylan Rosa doubled to lead off the third inning,

Lingos (1-0) retired the last eight batters he faced through the fifth inning, much like his opponent Payano. Erie’s bats had trouble finding the answer against the Akron bullpen, either. Down to the team’s last strike, Jacob Robson did what he could to try and spark life into the offense, lacing a triple into the right field gap, but was stranded there. Robson was the only Erie batter to reach third base. Skylar Arias and Nick Mikolajchak each tossed a pair of scoreless frames to finish off the shutout.

Akron remains undefeated on the season at 6-0, while Erie dips to 4-3.

The SeaWolves and RubberDucks continue the series on Wednesday night at UPMC Park at 6:05 p.m. RHP Elvin Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA) takes the mound for Erie against LHP Juan Hillman (0-0, 0.00 ERA).

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