Aeros Claim Eastern League Crown with 10-4 Win
The Aeros took advantage of some wildness from Connecticut starter Ari Ronick in scoring the first run of the game, as a pair of walks in the second set the stage for Jose Constanza to will an RBI single back up the middle to make it 1-0. Carlos Santana then scored all the way from first on an RBI double from Beau Mills in the bottom of the third to put Akron in front 2-0.
The Defenders got both runs back in an ugly top of the fourth, as with two down Eddy Martinez-Esteve drew a walk and Brad Boyer followed with a single. Ramon Castro followed with a bouncer to third that should have ended the inning, but Lonnie Chisenhall hesitated on the throw to second and sailed it into right field. John Drennen then tried to get Boyer at third base, but his throw carried into the dugout as both runners came home to tie the game.
Akron took command in the bottom of the fourth however, as Drennen stole the momentum right back with a solo homer to right on the first pitch of the inning. The Aeros then loaded the bases as the next three hitters all reached despite not getting a ball out of the infield, and Santana drew a walk to force in a run and make it 4-2. Mills brought home another run with an RBI fielder’s choice, Chisenhall’s RBI groundout pushed the margin to 6-2, and Drennen capped the inning by drawing another bases-loaded walk as Akron erupted for five runs in the frame.
Santana put an exclamation point on the festivities in the fifth by crushing a two-run homer over the bleachers in right field to make it 9-2, and the Aeros hit double-digits in the sixth on Constanza’s two-out RBI single.
Connecticut struck for a pair of runs with two away in the eighth on back-to-back RBI singles from Boyer and Bobby Felmy.
Josh Judy came on in the 9th and worked through some championship butterflies, giving up two runs on three hits before striking out Esteve swinging and joyously hopping into the arms of Carlos Santana to begin the celebration.