There's usually not a whole lot of action in a 1-0 game, but Thursday's early-morning one-run Aeros win over visiting Altoona was a thriller in many ways.
Let's start with right-handed starter Frank Herrmann, who tossed a season-high seven innings while limiting the free-swinging Curve to two harmless hits thanks to an above-average slider.
"With my slider working so well, I only threw one or two change ups today," Herrmann (4-2, 3.54 ERA) said. "And usually my change up is my best secondary pitch. But I stayed aggressive and kept after them.''
Aeros first-year manager Mike Sarbaugh said Herrmann had some momentum coming into the game in following two solid starts the previous two games by left-handers Chuck Lofgren and David Huff.
"Just like hitting's contagious, starters see what they guys before them did and it gives them confidence they can do it too,'' Sarbaugh said. "It's like, "They're doing it, so I'm going to do it.' ''
While Herrmann was methodically mowing through the Aeros' division rivals, back-up catcher Armando Camacaro drove in the game's only run with a second-inning two-out single that capped a three-hit rally.
"You gotta love a guy like that who sits for four, five games but then comes in and gets the big hit and makes a great defensive play to lead us to a win,'' closer Randy Newsom said.
But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. First, right-hander reliever J.D. Martin did his job via a three-up, three-down eighth inning as set-up man to Newsom, who had just become Akron's all-time franchise saves leader with his 25th earned in Wednesday night's 3-2 victory.
But Thursday, Newsom had a huge assist in recording his eighth save in as many opportunities so far this season. As the save - and the win - did not come without some heroics from right fielder Ryan Goleski, who wasn't even initially in the starting lineup until a late scratch forced him into action.
In addition to going 2-for-3, Goleski made a pair of highlight-reel catches in the field, with none better this season than his laser from medium right field that threw out the potential tying run (Brad Corley) with two outs.
Goleski's on-the-money throw made it to Camacaro a few feet up the third base line. The veteran catcher turned and held his position to block the path to the plate all the while holding on to the ball for the huge out despite a collision that left him with a sore left leg.
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