Crushers belt Normal
Crushers explode in middle innings, beat Cornbelters, 7-1
AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers plated six of their seven runs in the middle three innings of Tuesday night’s contest at All Pro Freight Stadium, and took the opening game of their series against the Normal Cornbelters, 7-1.
The win for the Crushers (44-35) gives them 23 at home this season after beginning the year 1-11 at home, while the loss for Normal (26-53) gives them three in four games against the Crushers this season.
The long ball proved to be a major factor on the night, as both Robby Kuzdale and Wally Correa both hit huge homeruns. Kuzdale’s tied it in the fourth, and Correa’s was a back-breaker in the sixth.
Normal plated their only run in the top of the first inning. Tyler Wiesemeyer was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second, before coming home on Ernie Banks’s two-out single.
The Crushers were kept off the board in the first three innings of the contest, until Kuzdale tied the game with a solo homerun in the fourth. The homerun was his fifth of the season, and it came with two outs.
Lake Erie struck for two more in the fifth inning to take the lead for good on a pair of run scoring singles. Correa started the inning with a base hit, and made his way to second on Brian Erie’s sacrifice bunt. Adrian Ortiz drove Correa home on a single, and scored moments later on Daniel Bowman’s third of three hits on the night.
Russ Moldenhauer and Kuzdale started the inning with back-to-back base knocks, and Correa drove them in on a three-run bomb, his second of the season.
The Crushers plated one final run in the bottom of the seventh. Bowman reached on shortstop Jason Thompson’s throwing error. The two base error put him on second, and he reached third on Jason Taylor’s fly out to right, before scoring on Andrew Davis’s sacrifice fly.
Trevor Longfellow (7-2) scored the victory, after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings of one hit relief, and struck out three in the process. Jacob Liedka (2-10) took the loss, after allowing six runs on 10 hits over six innings. In his professional debut, Jeff Neptune started and tossed four solid innings for the Crushers. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and fanned three in the process.
Bowman paced the Crushers on the night, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. He was one of four Crushers to hit safely multiple times on the evening. Moldenhauer, Kuzdale and Correa all turned in two hits apiece. Taylor and Davis were both held hitless on the night, ending their hitting streaks at 10 and six games respectively.
The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the Normal Cornbelters at All Pro Freight Stadium on Wednesday night. Right hander Eric Gonzalez-Diaz (6-7, 4.55) will start for the Crushers, and the Cornbelters will counter with right hander Ross Davis (1-0, 0.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011