Baseball finally came to Erie Insurance Arena.
Erie SeaWolves’ sluggers Rawley Bishop and Jordan Lennerton each hit unique home runs during Wednesday afternoon’s 2-1 victory over the Akron Aeros. Because of ongoing renovations to the arena, they saw their solo shots land in an open space between Jerry Uht Park’s new left-field wall and the arena’s impending sky boxes.
The balls actually landed somewhere amid construction equipment inside the facility.
Those homers comprised all of the offense for Erie, which improved to 20-18 at the conclusion of its 6-1 home stand. Akron (23-14) remained in first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division, although the SeaWolves and Harrisburg are crowding them.
— Mike Copper
Lennerton’s homer, his eighth, temporarily tied him for the league lead. Bishop totaled two hits in the win, as did Niuman Romero.
Erie starter Jared Wesson had his best start this season. Wesson blanked the Aeros on three hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked one.
Akron lost despite Jared Goedert’s 3-for-4 effort. Goedert had seven hits over the series’ final two games, which upped his league-leading batting average to .395.
Because Wednesday’s game began at 11:05 a.m., Erie won’t play again until Friday night. That’s when the team visits Altoona for a weekend series at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
The Curve was 14-22, last in the division, going into Wednesday night’s game at Bowie. Erie swept them when they paid their first visit to Uht Park to start its just-completed home stand.
Friday’s series opener has the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with the Saturday and Sunday games at 6.
Altoona had not released its probable starters as of Wednesday evening. Expected to go for the SeaWolves are RH James Avery (5-2, 3.05 ERA) on Friday; LH Kelvin De La Cruz (2-4, 3.93) on Saturday and RH Zack Segovia (4-3, 5.27) on Sunday.
Erie manager Chris Cron was elated with Wesson’s start Wednesday. Not just because of the final numbers the left-hander posted, but after what he saw during a pregame bullpen session.
“He struggled warming up,” Cron said of Wesson. “He wasn’t pounding the zone. But that could have refocused him just a little bit. You wouldn’t have known that unless you were watching him (before the game).”
Wesson didn’t think he was off as much as Cron said he was.
“I don’t really look too much into what I do in the bullpen,” he said. “You can throw well in the bullpen and still come out and now throw so well in the game.”
Wesson’s seven innings matched his previous best from April 26, when he received the victory in Erie’s 9-2 win over Trenton.
Cron was distracted during Tuesday’s postgame interview. Not because he was upset with Akron’s 8-1 victory over the SeaWolves, but because of the college baseball game being shown on his office telvision.
Kevin Cron, Chris Cron’s youngest son, was playing first base for a Texas Christian University team involved in a potential no-hitter at Oklahoma. Horned Frogs pitcher Brandon Finnegan took his bid into the eighth inning, when the Sooners’ Caleb Bushyhead finally singled on a bunt.
Finnegan departed, but two relievers completed TCU’s 1-0 shutout victory.
Kevin Cron singled twice for the 20th-ranked Horned Frogs, who are 33-16 overall.
C.J. Cron, Chris Cron’s oldest son, was hitting .248 for the Inland Empire 66ers going into Wednesday night’s California League game at Lake Elsinore. The 2011 first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim led the Single-A affiliate in home runs (four) and was second in RBIs (21).