The SeaWolves flexed their offensive muscles on Monday night at First Energy Stadium, taking down the Reading Fightin Phils, 8-3, in the series opener.
Reading jumped ahead in the bottom of the third against SeaWolves starter Myles Jaye. Jesmuel Valentin led off and connected on a solo home run to right, his first of the year, for a 1-0 lead.
The lead did not last long as the SeaWolves tied the game in the top of the fourth against Phils starter Nick Pivetta. Jeff McVaney led off with a single and stole second. With two outs, Corey Jones doubled home McVaney, tying the game.
The SeaWolves took the lead in the fourth when Connor Harrell jumped on the first pitch of the inning and connected on a solo home run to left for a 2-1 lead. The home run for Harrell was his third of the season.
Erie extended the lead in the fifth. With one out, Dean Green was hit by a pitch, Corey Jones singled for his third hit and Dominic Ficociello walked, loading the bases for Harrell. Harrell cleared the bases with a grand slam to center with his second long ball of the game, giving Erie a 6-1 lead. Harrell’s five RBI were a career-high, surpassing his previous career-high of four which he did on 8/12/13 with West Michigan. The grand slam was also the first of his professional career.
Reading got one back in the last of the sixth when Jorge Alfaro led off with a solo home run to center, his third, making it 6-2.
In the seventh, the SeaWolves added to the lead once again. McVaney singled with one out and stole his second base of the night. JaCoby Jones singled home McVaney for a 7-2 lead. It was the 13th game of the season that the SeaWolves scored seven or more runs.
The ‘Wolves added one more run in the ninth when JaCoby Jones led off with a solo home run off of Tom Windle, over the wall in left center. The home run for Jones was his first and it gave the SeaWolves their third, three homer game of the season.
Reading got one in the ninth against reliever Jose Valdez but could get no closer as the SeaWolves finished off the 8-3 win.
Jaye (1-4) earned his first win of the season, tossing his second consecutive quality start. Jaye allowed two runs on five hits with a walk while matching a season-high with eight strikeouts.
The SeaWolves and Fightin Phils meet in the second game of the series on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. RHP Tommy Collier (3-3, 3.60 ERA) takes the mound for Erie against RHP Ricardo Pinto (1-1, 3.97 ERA).