Lake Erie Crushers

Friday, August 17, 2012
Davis delivers

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Davis delivers

Andrew Davis drives in three, Crushers win, 4-3


JOLIET, Ill. – Andrew Davis drove in three of Lake Erie’s four runs on Friday night at Silver Cross Field, as the Crushers came from behind twice to take the first game of the series, defeating the Joliet Slammers, 4-3.   


The win for the Crushers (46-36) gives them a record of 17-15 in one run games, and they’ve now won three out of their last four.  The loss for the Slammers (35-47) was their fourth in a row.


Early on, both sides had trouble offensively, as the starting pitchers, Paul Fagan for Lake Erie, and Tommy Mendoza for Joliet, both dominated. 


Mendoza sat down 11 in a row before Jason Taylor belted a two out double in the fourth inning, and Fagan offered the Slammers very few chances to score. 


Joliet took their first of two leads in the bottom of the third.  Matt Mirabal stroked a leadoff single and made his way to third on sacrifice bunts from both William Hill and Patrick Norris.  Brad Netzel drove Mirabal home on a sacrifice fly. 


The Crushers tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, on Davis’s first of two big hits.  Daniel Bowman singled with two outs, and stole second base, before Mendoza issued a walk to Taylor.  Davis then ripped a single through the middle of the infield to score Bowman.


The Slammers responded a half inning later on a big two out hit of their own.  Netzel’s single started the inning, and he scored moments later on a two out double from David Christensen. 


Adrian Ortiz, who hit safely twice on the night, kick started the seventh inning with a double, and Robby Kuzdale’s bunt pushed him over to third base, before he scored the game tying run on a wild pitch. 


Lake Erie scored two more on another big hit from Davis in the eighth to take the lead.  J.C. Figueroa and Bowman started the inning with back-to-back singles, before Taylor walked for the second time on the night, loading the bases for Davis.  With the infield in, Davis socked a single back up the middle again, scoring Figueroa and Bowman.


Joliet didn’t go down quietly.  Norris started the eighth inning with a double, and moved to third on Netzel’s groundout.  Abel Nieves was at the plate, ahead in the count 3-1, when Ben Klapfczynski delivered ball four, which bounced to the backstop, and the wild pitch scored Norris.  Klapczynski then allowed a single to Erik Lis, and with runners at the corners, he retired the final two batters of the inning to maintain the lead.


Travis Risser (5-4) tossed 1.1 innings of relief, and allowed a run on a hit with one strikeout to earn the victory.  Jonathan Kountis (15) fanned three batters in the ninth inning to score the save.  Fagan twirled six strong innings, and allowed just a pair of runs on four hits. 


Davis, Ortiz, and Bowman paced the Crushers offensively, with two hits apiece.   Seven batters hit safely at least once on the night, and Taylor reached three times in four plate appearances with a double and two walks.  Davis went 2-for-4, and drove in three of Lake Erie’s four runs.


The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the Joliet Slammers at Silver Cross Field on Saturday night.  Right hander Jeff Neptune (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Crushers, and the Slammers will counter with right hander Matt Sommo (2-3, 3.66). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

by Andy Barch 440.934.3636
Streamline Technologies