Blanked in finale
Crushers silenced by Florence in 1-0 loss
AVON, Ohio – The Florence Freedom held the Lake Erie Crushers to just four hits on Sunday evening at All Pro Freight Stadium, and took the rubber match in the three game series with a 1-0 victory.
The loss for the Crushers (43-35) drops their record to 16-14 in one run games this season, while the win for the Freedom (42-36) gives them seven in 12 tries against the Crushers.
Pitching dominated the entire contest, as both offenses were held to just four hits, and there were only two extra base hits on the evening.
Andy Clark (1-0) who was signed by the Freedom on Sunday morning, made an incredible 2012 debut. The right hander retired the first 16 batters he faced, before surrendering a one out double to Wally Correa in the sixth inning.
Lake Erie starting pitcher, Paul Fagan (7-6) was outstanding as well. Fagan retired seven in a row to begin his outing, and battled his way out of a couple jams throughout the night.
Florence had runners on first and second with two out in the fourth inning when Fagan retired Jim Jacquot on a fly out to right. The Freedom had the bases loaded with two out in the fifth inning when Fagan fanned Peter Fatse to end the threat.
The only run of the contest was scored on a groundout in the seventh inning. Kyle Bluestein began the inning with a double, and John Malloy’s sacrifice bunt pushed him over to third. Pierre LePage’s groundout scored Bluestein to plate the game’s only run.
After Clark surrendered a one out double to Correa in the seventh, Brian Erie grounded out, pushing Correa to third, but Clark retired Adrian Ortiz on a fly out to center. Daniel Bowman started the eighth inning with a single, and a pair of groundouts brought him to third before Jorge Marban retired Erie on a pop out.
In the ninth, Jason Taylor stroked a two out single to right field, but Marban ended the game by striking out Andrew Davis.
Clark tossed seven strong innings to secure the victory. Over seven scoreless innings he allowed just two hits, no walks and struck out three in the process. Marban (6) scored the save after twirling a pair of scoreless innings in relief. Fagan took the hard luck loss, allowing just a run on four hits and struck out five along the way.
Davis went 1-for-4 on the night, and extended his hitting streak to six games, while Taylor’s two out single in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Crushers will begin a three-game series with the Normal Cornbelters at All Pro Freight Stadium on Tuesday night. The starting pitchers have not been announced and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011