The Crushers' long lead evaporates as the Otters tie the game in the ninth, win in extras.
Avon, OH. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, were defeated by the Evansville Otters, 6-3, as the Otters scored three runs in the ninth and tenth inning to come back and take the lead.
The loss for the Crushers (18-24) marks their first loss when leading after eight innings this season. Lake Erie has now lost 10 of their last 12 games. The win for the Otters (26-19) is their fourth win in their last five games and they are now 2-4 in extra-inning contests.
Lake Erie got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. After Parker Norris and Brendan Costantino both struck out, Jose Barraza singled and Sean Hurley walked. Justin Byrd then singled to score Barraza and Eric Grabe hit a single to left that scored Hurley and Byrd. The Crushers led 3-0 after one inning.
Both teams would be held scoreless until the ninth inning. Crushers' starting pitcher, Steven Hagen, did not allow a run in his eight innings on the mound. Hagen allowed seven hits, did not walk a hitter and struck out seven batters but did not factor into the decision.
In the top of the ninth, Keegan Ghidotti entered with the chance to record the save. The Otters' Chris Breen struck out to start the inning. Denzel Richardson and Kaeo Aliviado singled before Julio Rodriguez hit an RBI single, scoring Richardson. When Jeff Gardner pinch-hit for Clayton Smithson, Gardner hit a single to load the bases. Josh Allen walked, scoring Aliviado. Chandler Jagodzinski (2-2) then came into the game and got Christopher Riopedre to ground into a fielder's choice to second. The Crushers were able to get the out at second base, but Rodriguez scored, tying the game.
In the top of the tenth inning, the Otters took their first lead of the game and the series. Nik Balog hit an infield single to third base. The Crushers' third baseman, Costantino, threw the ball past Barraza at first base, allowing Balog to reach second base. Breen flew out to right field, allowing Balog to tag up and get to third. Richardson then doubled to center to score Balog. Aliviado doubled to right field, scoring Richardson from second base, putting the Otters up, 5-3. Aliviado ran to third when a wild pitch got past Crushers' catcher, Bryan De La Rosa. Evansville would get one more run on a groundout to second base.
For the Crushers, Ghidotti retired one batter and allowed four hits and three runs to score. Jagodzinski picked up the loss as he went 1.2 innings, giving up three hits and three runs. Two runs were charged to Jagodzinski.
Felix Baez started the game for the Otters and went 6.1 innings. He struck out three hitters, while allowing three runs on four hits. Shane Weedman came on to get the final two outs in the seventh inning. Ken Frosch (3-1) picked up the win as he pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three batters. Randy McCurry (14) pitched the bottom of the tenth inning and picked up the save.
Barraza and Byrd both had multi-hit games, combining to go 4-8 with two runs scored.
The Crushers and Otters will wrap this series up at The Freight on Sunday evening. Right-handed pitcher, Jordan Kraus (2-4, 4.59) will take the mound for the Crushers. The Otters' starting pitcher will be right-hander Tyler Vail (2-1, 3.02). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.