Photo credit: David Monseur/Accent Images/Courtesy Akron RubberDucks

The RubberDucks were plagued by a lack of effective relief pitching in their five game series at Erie. In the series opener, Akron blew a 9-5 eighth inning lead, to lose in extras. Poor pitching all around led to a loss on Thursday but the relief blew another multiple run lead on Sunday where Erie walked off on a homer. Akron was able to hold on 5-4 on Wednesday despite a two-run ninth for Erie and won 10-9 on Saturday despite a three-run twelfth for the SeaWolves.

Although Akron lost the series, they still shined in other areas of the game. The ‘Ducks offense continued to stay hot as they slugged 13 home runs as a team and tallied 39 runs. The starting pitching was also able to limit damage despite losing RHP Xzavion Curry and LHP Logan Allen to Columbus earlier in the week. 

Day-by-Day

6/28/22: Erie 11, Akron 10; W: Chentouf; L: Ponticelli
6/29/22: Akron 5, Erie 4; W: Broom; L: Flores; S: Daniels
6/30/22: Erie 13, Akron 9; W: Navilhon; L: Oviedo
7/1/22: PPD (Rain)
7/2/22: Akron 10, Erie 9; W: Broom; L: Houston
7/3/22: Erie 6, Akron 4; W: Lescher; L: Ponticelli

Player of the Week

IF/OF Micah Pries: 10-20, 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB

Pries is the newest Guardians prospect to experience an extended offensive breakout in Akron. After a nine-hit, two-homer series against Harrisburg that earned him Player of the Week last week, he one-upped that by smacking 10 hits and three homers against Erie. He now leads the team in homers with 14 and carries a solid .886 OPS on the year. 

Who’s Hot

IF Brayan Rocchio: 10-24, 4 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

It feels like followers of the RubberDucks and Guardians prospects have been waiting all season for Rocchio to reach his potential at the plate. After showing some improvements in prior series, he caught fire against Erie smacking seven extra base hits in five games. His biggest hit was a two-run homer in the 12th inning of Saturday’s 10-9 win. 

IF/OF Jhonkensy Noel: 5-19, 5 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K

When Noel makes contact with the baseball, it tends to land very far behind the outfield fence. He batted .263 against Erie but slugged 1.053, with all of his hits being home runs. His biggest hit was also a two-run homer in the 12th inning of Saturday’s win. 

RHP Gavin Williams: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Williams bounced back from the worst start of his pro career the previous week to give SeaWolves hitters fits on Sunday. He now has a 1.48 ERA in 61 innings between Lake County and Akron this year. 

Who’s Not

IF Raynel Delgado: 0-14, 3 BB, 6 K

Delgado had a nice start to his Double-A career getting 10 hits in his first eight games. Since then, he is on an 0-30 streak and went hitless in four games played at Erie.

The Relief Pitching: 24 IP, 27 H, 25 ER, 17 BB, 29 K

Ever since Akron lost Kevin Kelly, Tim Herrin, Nic Enright and Andrew Misiaszek to Triple-A call-ups, no ‘Ducks lead has been safe. The relief pitching had a hand in each of Akron’s losses and nearly cost them a pair of wins as they allowed more than one run per inning against Erie. RHP Kyle Marman struggled, allowing six runs in three innings and RHP Carlos Vargas had his first trouble of 2022 allowing four in 2.2 innings. RHP Manuel Alvarez, who somehow found his way back to Akron after a stint at the Arizona complex, allowed five earned runs in 1.2 innings on Thursday. Alvarez now leads the team in earned runs (28) in just 16.1 innings on the year. 

OF Julian Escobedo: 0-8, BB, 3 K

Escobedo has had his playing time cut in wake of the Jhonkensy Noel call-up and it has not helped him get it going on offense. The defense-first outfielder lowered his season OPS to .601 after three games played at Erie. 

On Duck

7/6/22: vs Altoona, 6:35 PM

7/7/22: vs Altoona, 6:35 PM

7/8/22: vs Altoona, 7:05 PM

7/9/22: vs Altoona, 7:05 PM

7/10/22: vs Altoona, 2:05 PM

Transactions

7/4/22: RHP Zach Hart assigned to Akron RubberDucks from Lake County Captains

7/2/22: RHP Tanner Bibee assigned to Akron RubberDucks from Lake County Captains

6/29/22: LHP Logan Allen assigned to Columbus Clippers from Akron RubberDucks

6/29/22: RHP Xzavion Curry assigned to Columbus Clippers from Akron RubberDucks

6/29/22: RHP Manuel Alvarez assigned to Akron RubberDucks from ACL Guardians

6/29/22: Akron RubberDucks placed RHP Jerson Ramirez on 7-day injured list. Right eye inflammation

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