Undone in the eighth
Crushers surrender four runs in the eighth, drop opener to Boomers
SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, dropped their series opener with the Schaumburg Boomers, 7-2, on Tuesday evening, as the Boomers pulled away with a four-run eighth inning to seal the victory.
For the Crushers (16-16) the loss was their first in four games against the Boomers (17-17) this season, and the win for the Boomers was their eighth in their last 11 games.
Schaumburg never trailed, scoring twice in the first inning and never looked back. The Crushers had a few chances to tie the game, but they stranded eight base runners before the Boomers pulled away with a four-run eighth inning.
Jordan Dean started the bottom of the first inning with a single for the Boomers, and Kenny Towns followed with a double into the left field corner. Lake Erie left fielder Marquis Riley had a tough time digging the ball out of the corner, and the error allowed Dean to score, and Towns to get to third. Moments later, Towns scored on a passed ball.
Lake Erie was able to trim the deficit to one (2-1) in the top of the second inning, as Bryan De La Rosa hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot that sailed over the wall in left center field, counting for his first of two RBIs on the night.
The Boomers capitalized on another Lake Erie error in the sixth inning. Towns started the inning with a double down the line in left, and Mark Nelson followed with a ground ball back up the middle, which shortstop Max Casper couldn't handle. The error allowed Towns to score, giving the Boomers a 3-1 advantage.
Back-to-back singles from Riley and Jose Barraza started the top of the eighth inning for the Crushers. Eric Grabe reached on a fielder's choice, but Riley was put out at third on the play. Two batters later, De La Rosa struck again, on a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield to score Barraza, bringing the Crushers within one (3-2) again.
Schaumburg put the game away in the bottom of the eighth, as they sent all nine batters to the plate, scoring four times on three hits and capitalized on another error. Dean started the inning with a pop up to the pitcher's mound that was dropped by Grabe. Two batters later, Nelson walked, and both he and Dean would come home on a double from Dusty Robinson, before Paul Kronenfeld capped the big inning with a two-run homer to right-center.
Kagen Hopkins (3-1) scored the victory for the Boomers, allowing just a run on five hits while striking out seven over 6.2 innings of work. Steve Hagen (2-2) took another hard luck loss in a strong effort. He allowed three runs, only one earned on five hits with seven strikeouts over six innings of action.
Seven out of the starting nine reached safely at least once for the Crushers, with three hitting safely more than once. De La Rosa led the way going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Riley and Barraza added two hits each as well.
The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the Schaumburg Boomers on Wednesday afternoon. Right-hander Jordan Kraus (2-2, 3.27) will start for the Crushers, and the Boomers will go with right-hander Josh Heddinger (2-2, 4.59). The first pitch is scheduled for 12:05 PM.