Josh Crouch’s 11th inning blast maintains SeaWolves’ lead in the division

Bless You Boys

Toledo Mud Hens 4, Indianapolis Indians 3 (box)

Once again, the Mud Hens took advantage of too many walks from Indy pitching, seven in total, to win on Wednesday.

The Hens scored in the top of the first when Josh Lester tried to steal second with John Valente on third. Indianapolis threw to second to cut Lester down, but Valente raced home on the play.

Austin Bergner struggled in this one, allowing a run in the bottom of the first as Indy seized the lead. Indy got two more in the bottom of the second to take a 3-1 lead, though Bergner did settle in to get through the fifth with no further issues.

The comeback started in the sixth when Daz Cameron and Andre Lipcius singled with one out. Brendon Davis walked to load the bases, and Jamie Westbrook lifted a sacrifice fly to score Daz. In the seventh, Zack Short walked and Josh Lester singled. Cameron doubled in Short, and walks to Lipcius and Davis forced in another run, this one the eventual game winner.

Valente: 3-5, R, 2 2B, SB

Cameron: 2-4, R, RBI, 2B, BB, 2 SO, CS

Bergner: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, BB, 5 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Bryan Garcia (3-3, 3.48 ERA) gets the start for Thursday’s 12:05 p.m. EDT matchup. RHP Cody Bolton (4-2, 3.23 ERA) starts for Indy.

Erie SeaWolves 5, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3 (F/11)(box)

A huge 11th inning blast carried the SeaWolves to their third straight victory and maintained their lead in the divisional chase with just four games left on the regular season schedule. It’s a minor league half season divisional title on the line here, but still good to see the young players getting it done in the biggest set of games most have ever played in.

Elvis Alvarado did a nice job in his two innings of work to start this one, holding Richmond scoreless. The Tigers are trying to get some of their young starters a sense of pitching into the late innings, and so Brant Hurter took over in the third. The big lefty did a great job, allowing no runs on five hits, no walks, and with six punchouts pitching into the seventh inning. Andrew Navigato’s smart work on defense helped keep Richmond from scoring in the seventh, helping Hurter’s cause.

The SeaWolves didn’t get their first hit until there were two outs in the third inning. Danny Serretti singled, and Dane Myers promptly ripped a double to score him and take the early lead. They had some chances in the middle innings, twice getting two men on, but couldn’t come through with any more runs until the eighth. In that inning, Daniel Cabrera led off with a single, Serretti struck out, and Myers walked. Andrew Navigato grounded into a force of Myers at second, but the SeaWolves had runners on first and third with two outs when Parker Meadows stepped to the dish and hammered a double to center field. Cabrera scored, but Navigato was thrown out trying to score all the way from first. 2-0 Erie.

Unfortunately, after cleaning up the final out of the seventh for Hurter, reliever Brendan White allowed a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, and this one was all tied up.

White redeemed himself by keeping Richmond off the board in the ninth, but the SeaWolves didn’t score either. Gerson Moreno did a nice job keeping the inherited runner from scoring in the 10th, striking out the final two hitters with the bases loaded no less, and setting up a dramatic 11th inning.

With Myers starting on second, Navigato grounded out to move Myers to third. Meadows spanked a ground ball back through the box to score Myers and make it 3-2. Quincy Nieporte struck out, but fast rising catching prospect Josh Crouch stepped to the dish and launched a two-run shot to right center field, the biggest hit of the year in the Tigers’ system to date.

Lefty Adam Wolf, who was largely forsaken as a prospect until developing a cutter this summer and going on a spectacular tear, took over in the bottom half. He allowed the Manfred Man to score, but otherwise locked it down to earn the save.

Meadows: 3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, BB, SO

Myers: 1-3, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB, SO

Hurter: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 6 SO

Coming Up Next: RHP Reese Olson (8-6, 4.15 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night, taking on RHP Landen Roupp (2-1, 3.80 ERA) at 6:35 p.m. EDT.

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