Erie pulls even with Squirrels in series

ERIE, PA (WWBT) - Niuman Romero went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Jared Wesson allowed five hits and one earned run in six innings as the Erie SeaWolves defeated the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 5-2, in game two of a four-game series Friday night at Jerry Uht Park.

The SeaWolves stole five bases in five attempts against Richmond and three of those stolen bases ultimately resulted in runs. Additionally, Richmond hit into three double plays and stranded seven base runners. The Squirrels got leadoff base runners in six different innings, but failed to convert in five of those frames.

Erie struck first with a run in the opening frame. Niuman Romero ripped a one-out double into the right-field corner and he promptly stole third base. Nick Castellanos drove in Romero with an RBI groundout, which gave the SeaWolves a 1-0 edge.

The SeaWolves added a run in the bottom of the fourth. Avisail Garcia hit a one-out double and Brandon Douglas followed with an RBI single, which extended Erie's lead to 2-0.

Meanwhile, the Flying Squirrels had leadoff batters reach base in each of the first four innings, but Wesson was able to get double plays in three of those frames to keep Richmond scoreless.

Richmond finally got on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fifth. Juan Perez and Luke Anders hit consecutive singles to start the inning. Then, Johnny Monell ripped a double into right-center field, which scored Perez and made it a 2-1 ballgame.

Erie answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. James McCann drew a leadoff walk from Squirrels starter Mike Kickham. After stealing second base, McCann scored later in the frame on a two-out RBI single from Romero.

The SeaWolves tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth on James McCann's two-run single, which extended Erie's advantage to 5-1.

Although Richmond struggled to produce a run in the late innings, the Squirrels refused to go quietly in the ninth. After SeaWolves reliever Bruce Rondon retired the first two batters in the inning, Perez reached on an infield single. Following an error by Erie second baseman Brandon Douglas that allowed Luke Anders to reach, Monell delivered an RBI single, which brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Nick Liles. Rondon delivered a fastball that Liles was able to connect with and nearly drive out of the ballpark. Instead, it ended up being a long fly out to left field and the SeaWolves claimed the victory.

Wesson (6-6) allowed just one Richmond run in six innings pitched to earn the win. Kickham (8-8) took the loss for Richmond after allowing eight hits and five earned runs in six innings of work.

The Squirrels will attempt to get back on the winning track when the two teams meet in the third game of the four-game series Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Richmond will send RHP Justin Fitzgerald (6-7, 3.86) to the mound. Erie is expected to counter with RHP Michael Cooper (2-5, 5.11).

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