Both teams scored a run on the long ball until the Otters won in walk-off fashion in the 11th
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, fall to the Evansville Otters, 2-1, as the pitching battle came to an end with the Otters walking off on a hit by pitch.
For the Crushers (26-28), the loss brings their two-game winning streak to an end and they fall to 9-7 in one run games. With the win, the Otters (32-23) advance to 3-4 in extra-inning contests and they put an end to their two-game losing streak.
For the fourth consecutive game, the Crushers put the first run on the scoreboard. Sean Hurley led off the second inning with a solo home run to left field, his third of the season.
The Otters would tie the game in the fourth inning on a solo home run off the bat of Josh Allen, his sixth of the season, which also cleared the fence in left.
The pitching would then steal the show. Connor Reed made his first start of the season and pitched five innings. Reed allowed a run on two hits and struck out five. Luc Rennie started his fourth game of the season for Evansville and he went 5.1 innings allowing one run and six hits. He also struck out five hitters. Both bullpens came on and pitched scoreless frames until the bottom of the eleventh inning.
Christopher Riopedre started the eleventh inning at second base, with the international rules in affect. Rolando Gomez laid down a bunt in between the pitcher, Chandler Jagodzinski (2-3) and the third baseman, Nick Covello. Gomez was safe on the infield hit as neither Crusher had a play. With runners on first and third, Allen struck out looking and John Schultz was intentionally walked to load the bases. Chris Breen came up and the second pitch of the at bat came inside, hitting Breen, giving the Otters a walk-off win.
The Crushers pitching staff could not have done much better. Manny Arciniega pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Reed. Jordan McCoy made his first appearance since June 30 and he pitched an inning, striking out two Otters. Brad Duffy pitched two innings. Finally, Jagodzinski went .1 of an inning, surrendering an unearned run on a hit and a walk and picked up the loss.
For the Otters, Shane Weedman relieved Rennie on the mound and he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings. He struck out two. Matt Wivinis pitched 2 innings and he struck out four Crushers. Randy McCurry (2-1) earns the win as he pitched a scoreless eleventh inning.
The Crushers offense had chances in this game but could not capitalize. The Men of Crush had six different innings where a man was in scoring position at some point in the frame. Bryan De La Rosa led off with a double in the fifth inning but was out at home later in the inning, attempting to score on a wild pitch. The Crushers had bases loaded with two outs in the sixth inning but could not score. De La Rosa was stranded at second base in the ninth inning. In the top of the eleventh inning, the Crushers stranded runners on second and third base.
Jose Barraza had two hits and was walked, extending his on-base streak to 13 games. Connor Oliver walked, making it six straight contests that he has reached safely. And Eric Grabe has now reached base safely in five consecutive games with his single tonight. Jagodzinski has factored into a pitching decision in every game against the Otters this season (one win, two losses, two saves).
Lake Erie will wrap up the series with the Evansville Otters, and the six-game road trip, on Thursday at Bosse Field. The Crushers will go with left-hander Stetson Nelson (2-4. 4.56) and the Otters' starting pitcher will be right-hander Preston Olson (3-1, 2.42). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM.