Erie Bullpen Taxed in Extra-Inning Loss

Erie Seawolves

Erie lost a back-and-forth affair in Altoona on Wednesday, falling 7-6 in 11 innings.
Altoona starter Nick Dombkowski retired in the first 15 SeaWolves in order, working into the sixth inning with a perfect game in tact. Erie broke that up when Dillon Dingler led off the sixth with a

Erie lost a back-and-forth affair in Altoona on Wednesday, falling 7-6 in 11 innings.

Altoona starter Nick Dombkowski retired in the first 15 SeaWolves in order, working into the sixth inning with a perfect game in tact. Erie broke that up when Dillon Dingler led off the sixth with a double and scored later in the inning on Diego Rincones’ two-run home run, which gave Erie a 2-0 lead.

That home run put Ty Madden in position to pick up a win. Madden tossed five shutout frames, allowed two hits and a walk and striking out two. He needed just 59 pitches to complete his five innings.

Altoona erased Erie’s lead in the sixth as Erie turned to Austin Bergner out of the pen. Bergner allowed two-out RBI singles to Mason Martin and Abraham Gutierrez to tie the game. RJ Petit bailed him out by stranding two on base.

Petit returned to the mound for the seventh and allowed an unearned run. After a leadoff single, Danny Serretti committed a key error, placing runners at first and third. Claudio Finol followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly.

In the ninth, Erie struck to tie against Tyler Samaniego. Trei Cruz and Justice Bigbie hit consecutive doubles on two consecutive pitches to begin the inning. Bigbie’s double scored Cruz to tie the game.

After Angel De Jesus worked through a shaky bottom of the ninth, Erie went ahead in the tenth against Samaniego as well. Jake Holton slashed a leadoff double, scoring Ben Malgeri as the free runner. Later in the frame, Rincones singled home Holton to give Erie a 5-3 lead.

Blake Holub was on to pitch the bottom of the tenth. Matt Gorski started the inning at the plate. For the second straight day, Gorski took Holub deep. With the free runner aboard, this two-run, leadoff home run tied the game at five.

Because of usage at the end of the Akron series and at the beginning of this series in Altoona, Erie had no more available relievers to use after Holub. The SeaWolves took an 11th-inning lead, 6-5, on Andrew Navigato’s sacrifice fly. Jake Holton, who had been playing first base, was asked to pitch the 11th to close the game out.

Holton retired his first batter on a foul popout. Then, Tsung-Che Cheng, the free runner, stole third base for his fourth steal of the game. He wound up scoring as Dillon Dingler threw the ball away. The game was tied at six. Holton worked himself into a two-out, bases loaded jam as he walked two batters and hit another. Mason Martin then lined the winning single into right field.

Grant Ford (1-0) earned the win for Altoona with Holton (0-1) taking the loss.

The series continues on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. with Wilmer Flores pitching against Anthony Solometo.

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