Senators 5, SeaWolves 4
In four previous appearances against the Senators this season, Erie closer Melvin Mercedes hadn’t allowed a hit, let alone a run. Steven Souza changed that quickly with one swing of the bat as he led off the ninth inning with a solo home run that gave the Senators a 5-4 lead they would hold on to for a 1-0 series advantage.
• The Senators continually left scoring opportunities on the table as they finished 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Manager Matt LeCroy chalked it up to the playoff atmosphere, “I think a little bit of that, trying to do too much. I’m glad it didn’t come back to haunt us. We found a way. I’m proud of them and the way they keep fighting. The pitching did a good job of keeping us in the game. It was a good team effort. Solid defense, playoff baseball. It’s fun.”
• Brian Jeroloman was injured on a play at the plate when Brandon Douglas knocked the ball loose to push the score to 4-3 in Erie’s favor. Douglas was shaken up on the play as well, but Jeroloman sustained the most of the impact. According to Erie Times-News beat writer Tom Reisenweber, as Jeroloman was carted off he told his mother and grandmother, who were in attendance, that he was okay. “That was a pretty good hit at the plate, a clean play. He stayed in as long as he could. He got a pretty good gash on his chin,” LeCroy said on the way to the hospital, “(I’ve) been in talks with Doug to make sure who he can have come up.”
• With Aaron Barrett out for the playoffs, the back-end of the bullpen falls primarily to Tyler Herron. After hitting the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth with an 0-2 curveball, Herron came back to strike out the next three batters and secure the victory. “He tried to throw a breaking ball with two strikes and it slipped,” LeCroy said, “That was a big game for him. He knows he’s going to be that guy so it’s good to get one under his belt.”
• In the first game of the other playoff matchup, Trenton overcame a two-run deficit in the 10th inning off Binghamton’s All-Star closer Jeff Walters to win 6-5.