The first three Erie batters hit hard against Altoona’s Travis MacGregor. Riley Greene opened the night with a single to right field, and Ryan Kreidler followed with a double off of the left field wall. Greene looked to score from first base on Kreidler’s double, but was thrown out on a bullet from the shortstop Oneil Cruz. The inning wasn’t lost for Erie, however, as Spencer Torkelson stepped up for his first hit and RBI in Double-A when he laced a single into center field.
MacGregor shot back after those first three Erie batters, and only allowed two baserunners over the next four innings. Erie pushed another run across in the sixth inning with more help from Altoona miscues. Riley Greene singled to right field on the first pitch of the inning, and advanced to third base through a passed ball and a wild pitch. Spencer Torkelson collected his second RBI of the night when he bounced a pitch over to third base while Greene charged home. The throw to the plate was too high, and it allowed Greene to slide safely in to score.
Paul Richan pieced together his best performance of 2021 in the start for Erie. Richan only allowed three singles over his first four innings on the hill, but gave up consecutive doubles to start the fifth inning, including an RBI knock from Arden Pabst that tied the game at one run. Richan recovered and finished six innings on the mound, his longest start of the year.
Max Green could not maintain the one run lead for Erie in the seventh inning. Altoona loaded the bases with only one out behind a pair of singles and a walk. Rodolfo Castro hit a sacrifice fly to plate the tying run, and Mason Martin singled up the middle to push two runs across and knock Green out of the game. Cale Coshow took over in relief for Erie, and pitched well, only allowing two infield singles while pitching scoreless ball through the eighth inning. Chavez Fernander made his Double-A debut in the ninth inning, and escaped with a scoreless frame despite allowing a leadoff double.
Altoona got key relief outings from Brad Case and Will Gardner to guide the game into the bottom of the ninth inning, and closer Hunter Stratton spun a scoreless ninth to finish the game.
Erie and Altoona continue their six game series on Thursday. It’s another Thirsty Thursday at UPMC Park, and fans can enjoy Smith’s hot dogs, Pepsi fountain drinks, popcorn and select domestic draft beers for just $2 each, all presented by Bud Light. The first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.