A five-run rally in the top of the fourth inning sealed a 5-3 win for the Aeros over the Portland Sea Dogs Wednesday at Hadlock Field.
The Aeros sent ten batters to the plate for seven hits in the fourth inning allowing them to break a two-game losing streak.
Portland was able to strike first in the second inning to get off to a score of 1-0, but the lead was short lived when Akron returned to the plate in the top of the fourth inning.
Tyler Holt, Jordan Henry and Thomas Neal loaded the bases early with back-to-back-to-back singles. Adam Abraham, who leads the team in RBI, was the first to get Akron across the plate with a line-drive single to the right side, putting them up 2-1. Juan Diaz kept the momentum going with another single to again load the bases for Nick Weglarz. Weglarz drilled another single up the middle, adding to the runs and put two more Aeros in scoring position. Ryan Rohlinger didn’t let the runs stop there, as he grounded out to first base, but still earned the RBI with Abraham reaching the plate. Justin Toole finished out the hits, grounding into a force out to third, allowing Diaz to still score, putting the Aeros up 5-1.
The Sea Dogs were able to put up one more in the fifth with a double from Jeremy Hazelbacker to make it 5-2. They made a last effort, adding one more run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the damage from the Aeros’ fourth inning performance went unmatched allowing Akron to walk away with the 5-3 win.
Right-handed starter Paolo Espino, 6-2, took home the win for the Aeros. He took down 11 at the plate increasing his season-high strikeouts from eight. The righty allowed four hits for two runs and only walked two in 25 batters faced. Espino’s ERA now stands at 3.13.
The Aeros will face the Sea Dogs Thursday for game two of the series. Akron will start left-hander T.J. House against Portland lefty Drake Britton.
Christian Turner is a senior public relations major at the University of Akron where she covers baseball, tennis and military veterans for the student newspaper, The Buchtelite.She can be contacted at email@example.com.