The Erie SeaWolves (37-32) used a key hit and strong pitching performance to gain a thrilling 2-1 win over the New Britain Rock Cats (33-37).
Erie starter Victor Larez tossedd one of his best outings this year. Through six innings, he allowed just three total hits and at one time retired 13 consecutive batters. His only mistake came in the seventh inning.
The Rock Cats broke the scoreless game when Miguel Sano hit his first AA homerun. The solo shot gave New Britain a brief 1-0 lead.
The SeaWolves answered in the bottom half of the seventh. James McCann reached base with a single, setting the stage for Tyler Collins. The lefty smashed his tenth homerun of the season into right field, giving Erie a 2-1 lead.
The SeaWolves bullpen held the lead. After Blaine Hardy surrendered a leadoff triple to Danny Santana in the ninth, Erie held its own and shut down the comeback attempt. Justin Souza earned his 14th save of the season in 0.2 innings of relief work, retiring both batters faced. He is now second in the Eastern League in saves.
New Britain starter Pat Dean (3-8) took the loss, going 6 .2 innings while giving up two runs on six hits, no walks, and three strikeouts. Matt Hauser allowed just two base runners in 1.1 innings of work.
The SeaWolves will close out the three-game home stand tomorrow afternoon at 12:05 pm. RHP Drew VerHagen (5-3, 2.81 ERA in Single-A Lakeland) will make his Double-A debut against RHP Logan Darnell (5-6, 2.87 ERA).