Adam Abraham’s run-scoring single in the seventh inning lifted the first-place Aeros over the Bowie Baysox 9-5 Wednesday morning in front of an Education Day crowd of 7,490.
Sixteen buses lined the streets outside Canal Park to drop off area kids for a 10:30 a.m. game hosted by the Aeros (31-19).
The more-energetic-than-usual crowd — vuvuzelas and all — were given a good show.
The Aeros jumped out to a five-run lead, had it erased in one inning and then again grabbed a lead in the seventh inning when Abraham singled home Chun Chen, who had doubled.
Abraham then added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth with a two-run double to the warning track in left-center field to make it 8-5.
Bowie pitcher Sean Gleason was about as perfect as you can be to start the game, striking out seven of the first eight hitters. Then he lost all control.
Davis Stoneburner had the first hit in the bottom of the third inning when he tripled to right field. Gleason couldn’t find the strike zone from the stretch and walked three batters in a row to force in a run.
“[Gleason] threw the ball well — good arm, throws hard, good breaking ball, really pitched well the first two innings,” Aeros manager Chris Tremie said. “He’s typically a reliever and maybe just got a little tired towards the end of his outing. But he’s got good stuff.”
Mike Belfore was brought in by the Baysox and didn’t fare much better.
Belfore walked the first batter he faced and Ben?Copeland reached on a fielder’s choice and an error. Roberto Perez then drove in a run with a double off the left-field wall. Stoneburner made it 3-0 with a groundout that scored Copeland, and Tim Fedroff singled to right field to bring Perez home.
The Aeros added a fifth run in the fifth inning after Abraham singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Copeland.
Like Gleason, Aeros starting pitcher Giovanni Soto was nearly unhittable and then ran out of gas. He threw five scoreless innings (two hits allowed, four strikeouts) as the Aeros built a five-run lead.
The Baysox (22-30) wiped out Akron’s lead with two big swings in the sixth inning. Travis Adair roped a three-run home run down the right-field line. With two runners on later in the inning, Zelous Wheeler singled to left field. Nick Weglarz, not known as a nimble outfielder, thought about diving for the ball, held back and slipped. Wheeler’s short single rolled all the way to the wall as both runners scored to tie it.
“[Soto] left a couple pitches up and gave up the home run, but other than that threw the ball pretty well,” Tremie said. “Circumstances just didn’t end up too good in that inning for him, but overall it was a good outing.”
Reliever Bryan Price threw 2? scoreless innings and Kyle Landis closed out the ninth to preserve the game.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Aeros blog at www.ohio.com/aeros. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.