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Akron wins 7-6 in extra innings

Akron wins 7-6 in extra innings
Davis Stoneburner
July 26, 2012
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First baseman Davis Stoneburner hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the eleventh inning to lead the Aeros to a 7-6 win over the Erie SeaWolves Wednesday.

The Aeros boasted 13 hits in the marathon game of eleven innings to win the series at Canal Park.

Akron got off to a quick start in the first inning following an RBI double from shortstop Juan Diaz.  Catcher Roberto Perez then led off the second inning with his second triple of the season.  Stoneburner was hit by a pitch by SeaWolves starter James Avery to make his way to first. Center fielder Tyler Holt then hit a sacrifice-fly to center field to score Perez and give Akron a 2-0 advantage.

Erie put up their first run in the top of the third with a solo home run from catcher James McCann to cut the lead to 2-1. Second baseman Matt Lawson immediately answered back for the Aeros as he smashed his first home run of the season over the left field wall.  Designated hitter Nick Weglarz and Ryan Rohlinger kept it going with a pair of singles. Then, with two down and runners on first and second, Jordan Henry hit a whopping line drive triple up the middle to clear the bases. The right fielder turned around and scored on the following pitch to stretch the lead to 6-1.

Giovanni Soto, Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for last week, started the game for the Aeros. The lefty held the SeaWolves to only one run until he began struggling in the top of the fifth. He happened to hang one over the plate, which Erie shortstop Nuiman Romero turned into a three-RBI double to the score 6-4. In addition, he allowed three singles and a walk.  He hit his last batter with a pitch before being replaced on the mound by right-handed reliever Loek van Mil.

Van Mil allowed two more runs to tie the game up 6-6.  He remained on the hill until being replaced in the seventh by right-hander Rob Bryson.

Bryson didn’t allow any action for Erie as he struck out five straight before coming off to be replaced by closer Toru Murata. Murata only allowed one hit in the ninth, and took down the last two batters at the plate to give the Aeros a chance to take the win in the bottom of the inning.

Perez returned strong to the plate with a hard hit to right center. What seemed like his second triple of the night turned into him be tagged out as he attempted to slide into third. The next two batters didn’t produce, and the Aeros and the SeaWolves headed into extra innings.

Murata brought the same momentum to the mound in the tenth.  The first batter grounded out to short while he took the last two down at the plate.  Akron made some noise on the bases but not enough to get a runner around to the home.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Henry got on with a walk and made his way to second on a steal followed by a trip to third on a balk. Perez also made it to first with walk and advanced to second.

With no outs, the SeaWolves did a complete rearrangement of the field as they brought the infield forward including left fielder Michael Rockett. Stoneburner capitalized on the wide-open space and cracked his game-winning single to the left side to end the game 7-6.

“You’re facing a guy who throws 100 miles per hour, no outs and the game's on the line,” said Stoneburner. “You just try to put the ball in play and hope you can get the job done.”

The Aeros begin a four-game series against the Bowie Baysox Thursday at home at 7:05 p.m.  Right-handed pitcher Paolo Espino will start game one from the mound against Bowie left-hander Jake Petit.

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