Bats come back
Lake Erie offense erupts in 9-4 victory
SAUGET, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers scored nine times on 14 hits in Wednesday night’s contest at GCS Ballpark, as they came away with a 9-4 victory over the Gateway Grizzlies to secure a series victory.
The Crushers (42-32) were hitting .111 on their current road trip, and had scored just nine times on 21 hits over their previous four games on the roadie, before plating nine runs on 14 hits to take Wednesday’s contest. The loss for the Grizzlies (43-31) marks the first time that they’ve lost a series since the beginning of July.
Gateway took their only lead of the contest in the bottom of the first inning. Chris McClendon stroked a two out single to right field, scoring Richie Jimenez Jr. on the play.
Lake Erie used the long ball to battle back, just as they had done a night earlier. Jason Taylor tied the game in the fourth inning on a solo homer, his 11th of the season, and Robby Kuzdale’s second of three hits on the evening was a solo bomb in the fifth inning, his fourth of the year to give the Crushers a 2-1 lead.
The Crushers scored at least once in innings 4-8, but put the game away with a four run sixth inning. J.C. Figueroa began the inning with a walk, and scored moments later on a single from Jason Taylor. Taylor’s single went into right center field, but an error committed by Rogelio Noris allowed Figueroa to score on the play. Andrew Davis followed with a two-run blast, his ninth of the season. Later in the inning, a throwing error by first baseman Jerod Yakubik allowed Daniel Bowman to score the final run of the frame.
The Grizzlies hit a pair of homeruns in the bottom of the sixth inning to stay within striking distance. After hitting Jimenez Jr. with a pitch to start the inning, Paul Fagan (7-5) surrendered a two-run shot to Noris, and Jon Myers followed with a solo blast to plate Gateway’s final run.
Lake Erie scored twice in the seventh inning, and added another in the eighth. Taylor’s one out single scored Adrian Ortiz in the seventh, and Taylor came home moments later on Russ Moldenhauer’s second double of the night. Ortiz’s squeeze bunt scored Kuzdale in the eighth.
Fagan went five innings, and allowed four runs on three hits to score the victory, while the combination of Mickey Jannis and Trevor Longfellow, combined to toss four innings of scoreless, two hit relief. Chris Enourato (3-4) allowed five runs on eight hits over five innings and took the loss.
Everyone in the Lake Erie lineup reached safely at least once, while seven out of the starting nine hit safely, and five Crushers turned in multi-hit games. Kuzdale came a triple away from the cycle, going 3-for-4, and Taylor turned hit a three hit game as well, going 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs. Ortiz, Davis, and Moldenhauer all hit safely twice.
The Crushers will finish their three game series with the Gateway Grizzlies at GCS Ballpark on Thursday night. Left hander Josh Hungerman (0-0, 1.32) will start for the Crushers, and the Grizzlies will counter with right hander Paul Tremlin (5-2, 4.08). The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011