The Crushers take down the Rascals, 5-1 and 2-1, to complete a sweep of the double-header
O'Fallon, Mo. – The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, took down the River City Rascals, 5-1 in game one of the double-header, and then finished the day with a 2-1 victory in the second game.
The wins for the Crushers (29-32) begins their first winning streak since taking down the Gateway Grizzlies on July 17 and the Evansville Otters on July 19. These wins also guarantee a season series win for Lake Erie as they are 4-1 against River City. The losses for the Rascals (29-32) drops their record in double-header games to 5-9 on the season.
The two teams took the field today after playing an inning and a half of scoreless baseball yesterday, prior to the rain coming down and suspending the game.
The Crushers fired the first shot in the game, today. In the third inning, Jason Zgardowski (0-1) relieved the starter, Tim Koons who went two innings last night. Bryan De La Rosa and Parker Norris both walked to start the inning. Connor Oliver laid down a bunt on the third base side, and reached safely with an infield single to load the bases. Brendan Costantino then hit a single up the middle scoring both De La Rosa and Norris. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Jose Barraza grounded out to second, scoring Oliver. Eric Grabe's sacrifice fly to center field plated Costantino. The Crushers led 4-0 after three inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rascals got on the board with back-to-back doubles to left by Josh Silver and Kyle Gaedele. Those were the only two hits the Rascals would get in the game.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Crushers added an insurance run as Barraza crushed his fifth home run of the season to center field, making it a 5-1 game.
Connor Reed (2-0) started the game for Crushers on Tuesday night and came back out on Wednesday morning. Reed picked up the win as he went six innings, allowing a run on two hits and struck out one hitter. Keegan Ghidotti pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Zgardowski was given the loss as he gave up four runs on two hits and two walks over one inning of work. Will Schierholz added a scoreless inning of relief and Austin Warner went three innings, allowing a run on three hits.
The Men of Crush once again struck first in the second game of the twin-bill. Max Casper singled to start the third inning and moved to second on Nick Covello's sacrifice bunt to third. Costantino came up big again with his third RBI of the day, a single that scored Casper.
River City tied the game at one in the bottom of the fifth inning, however. With two outs in the inning, Braxton Martinez singled and Alexi Colon walked. Johnny Morales then hit a sharp groundball to the shortstop that bounced off of Grabe's leg and rolled into left field, scoring Martinez from second.
Lake ErJose Barrazae right back in the top of the sixth inning. Jose Barraza came up and doubled to right field, his third hit of the game. Grabe bunted to third but Josh Silver's throw was late and Grabe reached first and Barraza made his way to third. Justin Byrd walked before Sean Hurley hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Barraza and putting the Crushers back on top, 2-1.
Stetson Nelson (4-4) started for the Crushers and went five innings. He gave up six hits but only one run and earned the win. Josh Laxer pitched the sixth inning and then Chandler Jagodzinski (7) nailed down the save in the seventh inning.
Joe Pavlovich went 4.2 innings for the Rascals as their starter. He allowed a run on six hits. Nick Kennedy went .1 of an inning and allowed run on two hits.
For the Lake Erie Crushers, Barraza went 4-7 over the two games. Casper went 2-3 in the second game of the double-header and Costantino hit 3-8 with three RBI on the day.
The Crushers will go for the series sweep tomorrow at CarShield Field. Lake Erie will send right-hander Steven Hagen (3-4, 2.05) to the hill and the Rascals have named right-hander Josh Wright (3-1, 4.63) as their starting pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM.