Crushers slam Joliet
Lake Erie takes series in 10-2 victory
JOLIET, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers scored early and often on Saturday night at Silver Cross Field, taking a 6-1 lead through the first two innings of the contest, and took the second game of the series from the Joliet Slammers, 10-2.
The win for the Crushers (47-36) was their third in a row, and brings them within a game of the Frontier League’s final wild card spot. The loss for the Slammers (35-48) was their fifth in a row.
The Lake Erie offense scored 10 times on 12 hits, and they went to work early, taking a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
J.C. Figueroa singled on the first pitch of the game, and stole second base. After Matt Sommo (2-4) retired the next two batters, he walked Andrew Davis, and then surrendered a three-run homer to Russ Moldenhauer, his seventh of the season.
The Crushers went to work again in the top of the second, registering four consecutive one out hits which produced three runs. Wally Correa started the rally with a base hit, and made his way to third on Kyle Shaffer’s double. Figueroa brought them both in on a single to center, and he scored the final run of the inning on Daniel Bowman’s double.
The Slammers got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, when Kyle Maunus belted a solo homer, his seventh of the season.
The Crushers then scored single runs in innings 3-6 to take a commanding lead. The third inning began with a walk issued to Robby Kuzdale, and he eventually scored on Shaffer’s groundout.
Bowman began the fourth inning on a base hit. He stole second, reached third on catcher Matt Mirabal’s errant throw, and scored on Davis’s sacrifice fly. Kuzdale scored on Figueroa’s single in the fifth inning, and Adrian Ortiz plated Lake Erie’s final run of the night with an RBI triple in the sixth inning.
Joliet scored the final run of the contest in the bottom of the ninth. Erik Lis started the inning with a double, and eventually scored on Maunus’s grondout, but it was too little, and too late for the Slammers.
Trevor Longfellow (9-2) tossed four scoreless innings of one hit relief, and came away with the victory, while Mickey Jannis (6) tossed a trio of innings and allowed just a run on a hit to score the save. Sommo took the loss for Joliet after allowing six runs on six hits over two innings of work. In his 2012 Lake Erie debut, Matt Smith started, and went two innings, allowing a run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Eight out of Lake Erie’s starting nine hit safely at least once on the night, while three players hit safely multiple times. Figueroa and Moldenhauer paced Lake Erie offensively with three hits apiece, and Bowman turned in a pair of knocks. Figueroa went 3-for-5 with a pair of runs and three RBIs, while Moldenhauer went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs and three RBIs as well.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Joliet Slammers at Silver Cross Field on Sunday afternoon. Right hander Eric Gonzalez-Diaz (6-7, 4.50) will start for the Crushers, and the Slammers will counter with right hander Jim Schult (5-6, 5.07). The first pitch is scheduled for 3:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011