The SeaWolves could not hold a late lead on Wednesday night at Jerry Uht Park as they dropped game one of the Western Division Championship Series 5-4.
Harrisburg jumped ahead in the top of the first inning against Erie starter Drew VerHagen. Billy Burns led off with a single and stole second. With two outs, Justin Bloxom homered to right for a 2-0 lead.
The SeaWolves responded in the bottom of the first against Harrisburg starter A.J. Cole. With two outs, Daniel Fields and Ramon Cabrera each singled bringing up Tyler Collins. Collins blasted a three-run home run to right for a 3-2 lead.
The Senators tied the game in the fourth. Carlos Rivero singled with one out and moved to second on a Sean Nicol walk. Jerad Head singled home Rivero, tying the game 3-3.
Erie regained the lead in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Richy Mirowski. Brandon Douglas led off with a double and moved to second on a James Robbins groundout. Douglas scored on a fielder’s choice on a collision at the plate, giving Erie a 4-3 advantage.
Harrisburg again tied the game in the top of the eighth against Erie reliever Ryan Robowski. Sean Nicol was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on a fielder’s choice. Jeff Howell singled Nicol to third and Burns brought home the runner on a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the ninth, Steven Souza, Jr. led off and belted a solo home run off of Melvin Mercedes, giving the Senators a 5-4 lead. It was the third straight game where Mercedes gave up a leadoff home run.
The SeaWolves got Wade Gaynor aboard in the bottom of the ninth on a hit by pitch, but Tyler Herron struck out the side to end the game.
VerHagen allowed three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
The SeaWolves and Senators meet in the second game in the best of five series on Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. at Jerry Uht Park.