Walks Weary on Erie in Series-Opening Loss

Erie Seawolves
The Erie SeaWolves lost their third straight game on Tuesday night at UPMC Park, dropping the first game of their final series of the season, 6-3 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Erie pitching walked seven batters on the night. Two of the walks eventually came in to score, while one walk came with the bases loaded.

Offensively, Erie made the most of the few chances they had against Akeel Morris, tagging the experienced right-hander for three runs. After Kerry Carpenter opened the fourth inning with a single, Andre Lipcius followed with an RBI double. Lipcius doubled up on the doubles in the sixth inning against Morris, and Drew Ward lifted a two-run home run to left-center field to follow the double. Despite hitting Morris (W, 6-0) for the most runs he had allowed since July, Erie was never within one run after the second inning.

Richmond leaned on three relievers to keep Erie scoreless for the rest of the night, as Frank Rubio logged 1.1 innings on the mound, R.J. Dabovich took the eighth inning, and Patrick Ruotolo tossed a perfect ninth inning to earn his 10th save of the season.

After a perfect first inning, Richmond struck Elvin Rodriguez for a pair of runs in the second. Frankie Tostado started the inning with a single, and Sandro Fabian pushed Richmond ahead with a two-run home run to left field. Rodriguez (L, 4-6) only lasted 2.1 innings in his first start back from a stint on the Injured List. Taking a piggyback role, Jesus Rodriguez had a tough time finding the strike zone. He walked three consecutive batters at the open of the fourth inning, but only allowed one run on a sacrifice fly before escaping the jam. Things got out of hand for Rodriguez again in the fifth inning. After an error, a single, and another walk loaded the bases again for Richmond, Rodriguez earned a force out at home for the second out of the frame, but hit a batter and walked a batter to force in two runs.

The relief work was quickly turned over to Brad Bass, but Bass allowed a solo home run to David Villar in the sixth, extending Richmond’s lead. Ruben Garcia took the final three innings for Erie, and held Richmond scoreless while striking out a career-high six batters.

Erie and Richmond continue their series on Wednesday at UPMC Park, it will be the final Erie Piñatas night of the season, as Erie will participate in Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión, a season-long event series celebrating Hispanic/Latino culture. The UPMC Park game day experience will be transformed with Latin music, colorful decorations, specialty food & drink items, and custom Erie Piñatas caps and jerseys to worn by the players. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. When the series concludes, Erie will look ahead to the 2022 season, beginning on April 8 at UPMC Park with a three-game series against the Akron RubberDucks.

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