The SeaWolves jumped ahead in the second inning and never looked back as they notched an Opening Day shutout win over the Trenton Thunder, 7-0, on Thursday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
Erie jumped ahead on Trenton starter Brady Lail in the top of the second. Dominic Ficociello led off, reached on an error and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With one out, Connor Harrell walked setting up Austin Green. Green blasted a three-run home run to left, giving the SeaWolves a 3-0 lead. It was Green’s first home run since June 20 of last season. Kody Eaves, making his Double-A debut, walked and with two outs, scored on an Alberto Gonzalez double thanks to a dropped ball by the Trenton catcher Kyle Higashioka.
Erie remained in control from that point on in the game and added insurance in the ninth. Harrell and Green connected on back-to-back singles and advanced on an Eaves bunt. Gustavo Nunez, singled to shallow right, plating both baserunners for a 6-0 lead. Nunez then stole second and moved to third on Gonzalez’ fourth hit of the night. Nunez came home on a Jason Krizan sacrifice fly to left, making it 7-0.
The SeaWolves pitching staff was stellar throughout the night. Starter Cory Riordan went four innings, allowing two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a no-decision.
Gabe Hemmer (1-0) earned the win allowing three hits with a walk and three strikeouts over two innings in relief of Riordan.
The trio of Joe Mantiply, Ruben Alaniz and Lendy Castillo tossed the final three innings of the game, combining to allow one hit with four strikeouts.
Lail (0-1) took the loss for Trenton allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings.
It was also the second straight road season opener shutout for the SeaWolves. Warwick Saupold shut out Altoona in the opener in 2014.
Erie and Trenton meet on Friday night in the second game of a four-game series at 7:00 p.m. RHP Myles Jaye takes the mound for Erie against RHP Cale Coshow.