Aeros comeback to win 5-4
Bellows' walk-off single gives Akron series win
AKRON – The Akron Aeros walked off over the Erie SeaWolves with a big hit from Kyle Bellows for a 5-4 victory on Wednesday afternoon.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor, who made his Aeros’ debut on Tuesday, laced the first hit of his double-A career in the bottom of the first with a single to center. After swiping second, Lindor scored on a one-out single by designated hitter Cedric Hunter to give the Aeros the 1-0 lead.
The SeaWolves battled right back in the second as they plated three. Designated hitter Ramon Cabrera led off with a walk and advanced on a single by left fielder Tyler Collins. Catcher James McCann followed with a double to score both runners for the lead. With two out, second baseman Marcus Lemon drew another walk and right fielder Jamie Johnson doubled to right to plate McCann for the 3-1 lead.
The Aeros managed one more in their share of the second as centerfielder Tyler Holt drew a walk and stole second. Holt advanced to third on a groundout and scored as third baseman Matt Lawson tapped a ground ball to first.
Erie doubled their lead again in the fourth as third baseman Wade Gaynor hit a one-out double to left and scored on a two-out single by Johnson for the 4-2 advantage.
Roberts lasted through the fifth, where he was replaced with reliever Jordan Cooper, sealing Roberts’ line at five innings pitched, allowing four runs on six hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
Larez also remained through five, yielding two runs on three hits and one walk before giving way to Will Startup.
Meanwhile, Cooper remained in the game for two innings scoreless, hitless innings, striking out two. Trey Haley entered the game in the eighth and ran into trouble as he allowed two men on, but a fly-out to center prevented any further damage.
Startup’s outing ended early as he rolled an ankle on a bunt play and had to be assisted off the field. Startup was replaced with Will Clinard, who also ran into trouble as Lindor drew a walk to force Lawson to second. Cue second baseman Ronny Rodriguez, who laced a two-strike single to score Lawson, bringing the Aeros within one.
The ninth inning produced a pair of unlikely heroes as Akron drew a pair of back-to-back walks to start the inning. Akron took the wheel as they tied the game on reliever Melvin Mercedes. With runners on first and third, Lawson drove Mercedes to the left-center gap to score right fielder Carlos Moncrief. Cue left fielder Kyle Bellows, who sent his first hit of the day just over the shortstop to score centerfielder Tyler Holt for the game-winning run and 5-4 victory.
“It was a tough day to play -- noon game and it was 90-plus,” Rodriguez said. “They stayed in the game pretty much the whole game. You have to give them credit. We found a way. We kept saying in the dugout, ‘Find a way.’”
Of course, the Aeros found a way, thanks to Bellows. Bellows said he wasn’t thinking too much in his turn at the plate in the ninth. “[My plan was to] Just pretty much get the ball in the outfield,” he said. “Just pretty much get the guy on third a chance to score.”
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.