It was the kind of conclusion suited for late autumn game, not early spring.
Regardless of season, though, the Erie SeaWolves posted one of their greatest comebacks at Jerry Uht Park with Saturday afternoon’s 11-10 victory over Bowie. Those left in the crowd of 1,012 saw Erie tie the game with four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, highlighted by Tony Plagman’s two-out, three-run home run, and win it in the bottom of the 10th on shortstop Niuman Romero’s RBI single over the Baysox’s drawn-in outfield.
The improbable outcome marked the first time that Erie (4-4) won consecutive games in this young Eastern League season.
– Mike Copper
Plagman’s dramatic homer was his third hit of the game, and gave him four RBIs. Brandon Douglas, whose sacrifice fly accounted for the SeaWolves’ first run in the ninth, drove in three runs overall.
Tyler Townsend hit his team-leading fourth home run for Bowie (3-7) and also scored twice. But the first baseman’s offensive contributions were wiped out by his three errors that greatly aided Erie’s rallies in the ninth and 10th.
Rob Brantly was vital to the SeaWolves’ 10th-inning rally. Along with a two-run single in their five-run second, he also hit a broken-bat single immediately ahead of Romero’s game-winner.
However, Brantly also contributed to the win with a defensive rarity. The catcher picked off two of Bowie’s fifth-inning base runners, shortstop Manny Machado at third and right fielder Robbie Widlansky at second.
Brantly, who’d never accomplished that before at any level, said it was unique because neither pickoff was at first base.
“They (presented) great opportunities with my infielders,” said Brantly, whom Baseball America ranks as the Detroit Tigers’ No. 7 prospect. “(Third baseman Rawley) Bishop and Romero both came up to me and gave me a little wink to go ahead and throw.”
Erie could be in line for a roster move, or moves, before Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. series final against the Baysox. That’s because the Detroit Tigers demoted former SeaWolves’ Danny Worth (infielder) and Brayan Villarreal (pitcher) to Triple-A Toledo before their road game against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Worth’s option was made with fellow infielder Brandon Inge coming off the 15-day disabled list.
Pitcher Adam Wilk, another former Erie pitcher, started for the Tigers against the White Sox. The left-hander departed in the sixth inning, not because of his performance, but because he was struck on his pitching shoulder from a foul ball off the bat of teammate Prince Fielder.
Another former Erie player was in the news Saturday.
The rival Minnesota Twins claimed outfielder Clete Thomas off waivers from the Tigers. Thomas, 28, hit .280 in 137 games for the 2007 SeaWolves.