Erie, PA (WBNG Binghamton) In his first game of the season, Reese Havens collected three hits, including a two-run home run, to lead the Binghamton Mets past the Erie SeaWolves by a 7-1 score in the rubber match Sunday afternoon at Jerry Uht Park. Binghamton pounded out 10 hits, including five for extra bases, to make a winner of Zack Wheeler for the first time in his Double-A career.
Binghamton jumped on Erie starter Mark Sorensen in the first. Matt den Dekker started the attack with a double to the right field gap. Havens, activated from the disabled list before the game, ripped a two-run homer to right field on his first swing of the season. Havens launched six home runs in 58 games with Binghamton last year.
The B-Mets did not take their foot off the gas pedal in the second. Pedro Zapata dumped a single to center and was quickly brought home when den Dekker ripped a triple down the right field line. Rodriguez followed by with a walk to put runners at the corners. With Havens at the plate, Rodriguez forced himself into a rundown and stayed alive long enough for den Dekker to score from third.
Sorensen could not reach the third. Patrick Cooper took over and put up a scoreless frame before allowing a leadoff triple to Zapata in the fourth. The speedy outfielder scored one batter later on den Dekker’s sac fly to center.
Cooper allowed two more runs in the fifth. Eric Campbell singled and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches by the righty. Travis Ozga brought him home with a single to center. Juan Centeno scored later in the frame when Zapata beat out a potential double play.
The offensive support was long-overdue for Wheeler. In his first four starts, the B-Mets had scored a total of four runs. Given a seven-run cushion, the righty from Georgia collected his first Double-A win.
Wheeler did not allow a hit until the fourth and surrendered just two over his 5.2 innings. In the sixth he allowed a double to Brandon Douglas before inducing Rob Brantly to fly out to center.
With two outs, Pedro Lopez opted to replace Wheeler with Jeff Kaplan. Wheeler finished with six strikeouts on the day. Jordan Lennerton greeted by pounding an RBI double off the left centerfield fence. It was the only run Erie plated in the game.
Kaplan forced Ben Guez to ground out to end the inning and worked around a two-out single to put up a scoreless seventh. Armando Rodriguez got the nod for the eighth and took the game to the finish line with two scoreless innings.
The win was Binghamton’s first in a rubber match and secured their second series win of 2012. Wheeler (1-2) earned his first Double-A win, while Sorensen (0-2) was handed his second defeat.
The B-Mets (12-10) head to Akron, Ohio to start a four-game series against the Aeros on Monday night at 7:05 PM. LHP Darin Gorski takes the ball for Binghamton against RHP Steven Wright.