Senators Late Rally Comes Up Short in 6-3 Loss to Erie
Difo and Kieboom with two hits each
Erie raced out to an early lead and managed to hold on for the 6-3 victory over the Harrisburg Senators in front of 2,863 fans and 36 dogs at FNB Field on Wednesday night. The win was Erie’s first against the Senators in six games this season.
“You’re getting to that point in the season where in your at-bats you have to focus more. Your energy, your concentration even on hot days. If you can’t do it then you’re telling everybody you can’t play,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “I didn’t like what I saw with the effort and that’s one thing I’m not going to stand for.”
Leading off the contest, Wynton Bernard greeted Harrisburg starter Boone Whiting with a home run to give the SeaWolves a lead they would never relinquish. Whiting (0-1) allowed five runs on 10 hits over 5.2 innings as the right-hander pounded the strike zone throwing 69 of 81 pitches over the plate.
“Boone was up in the zone all day,” LeCroy said. “He battled, but just too many balls up in the zone and he didn’t go in enough.”
“I call it living on the edge. They had too many good swings with two strikes.”
Harrisburg (45-39) scored their first run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Wilmer Difo led off with a hot smash that Kody Eaves couldn’t handle. As the ball rolled away from the Erie third baseman, Difo raced around to second base. Neftali Soto followed with a single and RBI, his team-leading 41st, into right field.
Down 6-1 into the eighth inning, the Senators mounted a two-out rally as they used an error and two walks to load the bases. Catcher Spencer Kieboom singled up the middle, his second hit of the game, to move everyone up 90 feet. Shawn Pleffner took another free pass to cut the deficit to 6-3 and bring Adrian Sanchez to the plate as the go-ahead run. Sanchez hit a chopper up the middle, but second baseman Tyler Bortnick made a game-saving play to end the threat.
Derek Self and Abel De Los Santos each worked a scoreless inning in relief for Harrisburg.
Harrisburg concludes their series with the SeaWolves on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. Tyler Mapes takes the hill looking for his eighth win of the season against Erie’s Artie Lewicki. The most flexible guy in the world will make an appearance at the ballpark as Rubber Boy comes to FNB Field on Thirsty Thursday. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.