The SeaWolves suffered their first series loss of the season, dropping the rubber game of a three-game set against the Altoona Curve, 8-3, on Wednesday night.
Erie jumped ahead in the first inning against Curve starter J.T. Brubaker. Jason Krizan led off with a single and moved to third on a Mike Gerber double with one out. Christin Stewart singled home Krizan for a 1-0 lead. Dominic Ficociello followed and lifted a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Gerber for a 2-0 lead.
Altoona quickly responded in the last of the first against Erie starter Tyler Alexander. Kevin Newman led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a Pablo Reyes bunt single. Jordan Luplow singled home Newman and on the play, Reyes advanced to third on an error by Stewart in left. Michael Suchy grounded out with one out, scoring Reyes, tying the game.
The Curve took their first lead of the game in the fourth. Edwin Espinal led off and reached on a Gustavo Nunez error. Suchy singled to put Espinal into scoring position and he would eventually score on a fielder’s choice for a 3-2 lead.
The SeaWolves tied the game in the top of the fifth. Kody Eaves led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a one-out Krizan base hit. Krizan now has eight multiple hit games in 12 games played. Nunez followed and drew a four-pitch walk, loading the bases for Gerber. Gerber hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Eaves, tying the game 3-3.
Altoona rallied in the last of the sixth. Luplow led off with a double and came home on an Espinal double, giving the Curve a 4-3 lead. Alexander would then give way to Ruben Alaniz. Suchy singled to put a pair on base with no outs. With one out, Wyatt Mathisen singled home Espinal and Tomas Moralez grounded out, scoring Suchy for a 6-3 lead.
The Curve added two insurance runs in the eighth against reliever Paul Voelker. Espinal and Simpson each singled to put a pair on base. With two outs, Morales singled home the baserunners, giving Altoona an 8-3 advantage.
Curve reliever Sean Keselica (2-0) earned the win tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of the starter Brubaker.
Buddy Borden earned his first save for Altoona, firing two scoreless to close out the game.
Alexander (0-2) took his second loss in as many starts. He allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five-plus innings of work.
The SeaWolves return home to UPMC Park on Friday as they host the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets) at 6:35 p.m. Fans are encouraged to get to the ballpark early on Friday for the first giveaway night of the season. The first 1,000 fans receive a SeaWolves knit cap courtesy of Pepsi. Fans can also enjoy Happy Hour specials in the Bud Light Beer Garden until first pitch. Friday also features the first Fauxback Friday of 2017 as the SeaWolves will wear throwback inspired jerseys.