Streak snapped at six
Crushers suffer first loss of the season in 4-2 setback
WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Lake Erie Crushers fell for the first time this season, suffering a 4-2 loss to the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park on Saturday night.
The Crushers (6-1) are now tied for first in the Frontier League's Eastern Division with Windy City, while the win for the Wild Things (4-4) was their first at home this season.
Lake Erie was held to just six hits on the night, and only a pair of those went for extra bases. However the first of those two produced Lake Erie's first run in the top of the first inning. Jose Barraza blasted his first homer of the season, a solo shot over the wall in center field, giving Lake Erie a 1-0 lead.
That lead held until the Wild Things tied it with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Andrew Heck stroked a one out double down the left field line, made his way to third on a groundout, and scored the game tying run on a wild pitch.
In the sixth, Mike Devine (2-1) hit the first batter of the inning, Justin Fox on an 0-2 pitch, before surrendering back-to-back singles to Jamal Austin and Austin Wobrock to load the bases. Ricky Rodriguez then gave the Wild Things the lead on a sacrifice fly to score Fox. Dave Popkins followed with a flyout to Daniel Aldrich in right, who then fired a strike to the plate to nail Austin, who tried to score from third to end the inning.
Lake Erie had a chance to capitalize on that momentum and tie the game in the top of the seventh. Aldrich walked with one out, before Brendan Costantino and Parks Jordan belted back-to-back singles to load the bases, before Max Casper hit into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
Washington added two big insurance runs in the seventh inning. Jimmy Yezzo started the inning with a double to the gap in right center field, and scored on Heck's RBI triple to right. Fox brought Heck home on a two-out infield single to give the Wild Things a 4-1 lead.
The Crushers didn't go quietly in the ninth. After two quick outs were recorded to start the inning, Aldrich tripled to right field. Costantino then reached on an error by the first baseman, Scott Carcaise, allowing Aldrich to score. Jordan then reached on a dropped third strike to put runners at the corners, before Trevor Foss (1) got Casper to groundout to second for the final out of the game.
Matt Fraudin (1-0) scored the win for Washington, allowing just a run on three hits while fanning six over six innings. Foss scored the save after allowing an unearned run on just a hit in the ninth. Devine took the loss after allowing a run on two hits over a third of an inning.
Six Crushers hit safely on the night, but only Casper reached safely twice, doing so on a walk and a single. Juan Avila saw his six-game hitting streak come to an end, as he went 0-for-4 on the night.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park on Sunday evening. The Lake Erie starting pitcher has not been announced and the Wild Things will go with left-hander Brandon Hinkle (0-1, 10.38). The first pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM.