Erie SeaWolves 7, Richmond Flying Squirrels 3 (box)
The Erie SeaWolves booked a trip to the Eastern League championship series on Thursday night, sweeping the Flying Squirrels in the first round behind a good start from Ty Madden, and a big-time display of power from 1B Chris Meyers.
After a quiet first inning, Ty Madden got into a little trouble in the second inning as a one-out single and then a walk gave the Flying Squirrels an early opportunity. Madden bounced back to strike out Carter Aldrete and then got a ground out to escape the jam.
The SeaWolves got two men on with two outs in the bottom half, but couldn’t score either. Madden then gave up a leadoff double to Jimmy Glowenke to open the third inning, but again shut the door on them with a strikeout, a pop-up, and a routine ground out.
Trei Cruz opened the bottom of the third with a double to right field, and took third on a Danny Serretti ground out. Jace Jung lifted a sac fly to left, and Cruz scored the first run of the game. Chris Meyers followed with a blast to straightaway center to make it 2-0.
A walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly got Richmond on the board in the top of the fourth, but Madden punched out Wyatt to end the inning before they could really get a rally going.
Ben Malgeri then re-opened the lead with a solo shot to left. 3-1 SeaWolves. Daniel Cabrera followed with a double, and eventually scored on a Trei Cruz single to right to make it 4-1.
Madden pitched into the seventh, but got into some trouble with a leadoff double and a one-out walk. He finished with a line of 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K, because Adam Wolf took over and allowed both runs to score. 4-3 SeaWolves.
That was Richmond’s last glimpse of a comeback, as Meyers blasted a three-run shot in the bottom half with Serretti and Jung aboard. 7-3 Erie.
Top relief prospect Tyler Mattison took over in the eighth, and he was spectacular. Mattison struck out five of six hitters he faced in two immaculate frames to shut the door and earn Erie its second straight Eastern League championship series. Last year, the Somerset Patriot took them down two games to one. The SeaWolves will have home field advantage this time over the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
Meyers: 2-4, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR, K
Cruz: 2-5, R, RBI, 2B, K
Malgeri: 1-3, R, RBI, HR, BB, 2 K
Madden (W, 1-0): 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K
Mattison: 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K
Coming Up Next: Game 1 will be in Binghamton on Sunday, but a start time has not yet been announced.
Manager Gabe Alvarez continues to do a heck of a job running the SeaWolves. Here they are enjoying the fruits of their labor.
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— Rogelio Castillo (@rogcastbaseball) September 22, 2023
St. Paul Saints 4, Toledo Mud Hens 2 (box)
Veteran lefty Bryan Sammons put together a brilliant outing on Thursday, but the defense and the bullpen let him down and the offense couldn’t take much advantage of eight walks.
The Hens took an early lead as Nick Solak was hit by a pitch to start the game. Justyn-Henry Malloy walked, and Colt Keith ripped a double to right to score Solak. Unfortunately they went 1-2-3 from there.
Meanwhile, Sammons spun six shutout innings. He allowed just four hits and no walks, striking out eight along the way.
The game was still 1-0 Toledo entering the top of the seventh. Dillon Dingler drew a one out walk and Michael Papierski singled him to second. Solak walked to load the bases, and Malloy lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Dingler and make it 2-0. Unfortunately Keith grounded out to end the inning, as the Hens would suddenly need more runs.
Andrew Vasquez took over in the bottom half and Brooks Lee greeted him with a single. Vasquez struck out the next hitter, but a Kyle Garlick grounder to third spelled disaster as Malloy threw it away. Lee scored all the way from first, while Garlick reached third before the ball could be corralled. Vasquez hit the next batter, and then a wild pitch plated the Saints’ second run. Vasquez bounced back to strike out Gilbert Celestino, and looked like they’d escape with a tie game. However, a pair of singles from Hernan Perez and Michael Helman scored another run, and Vasquez gave way to Garrett Hill. Hill’s first hitter was Byron Buxton, who spanked a grounder back through the box to score Perez, and it was suddenly 4-2 Saints.
The Hens got two baserunners in each of the last two frames, but couldn’t come up with the hits they needed.
Malloy: 1-2, RBI, 2 BB
Keith: 1-5, RBI, 2B
Sammons: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 8 K
Coming Up Next: They’ll get back at it with a 7:37 p.m. ET start on Friday night.