Swept by the CornBelters
The Crushers score first, but the Belters power is too much to handle
Normal, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, lose to the Normal CornBelters on Sunday afternoon, 3-1, as Normal scores three unanswered runs and complete the sweep of Lake Erie.
The Crushers (29-36) finish the season series with an 0-6 record against the CornBelters. They finish the month of July with a 12-13 record. With the win, Normal (33-32) is over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The Crushers put the first run on the board. The Crushers' first hit came in the sixth inning on Connor Oliver's lead-off single. Brendan Costantino then laid down a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, moving Oliver to second base. The next hitter, Jose Barraza, singled to left-center field to score Oliver and give the Crushers a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Santiago Chirino hit a lead-off single to center field. An errant throw by Oliver allowed Chirino to get to second base and the very next hitter, Aaron Dudley, hit a home run to right field, his 14th of the season. That homer put the CornBelters up, 2-1.
The CornBelters added a run of insurance in the bottom of the seventh inning. Justin Fletcher singled to start the inning and Elvin Rodriguez bunted him over to second base. Ty Morris singled to center, moving Fletcher to third and then an infield single to third, off the bat of Chirino, allowed Fletcher to score.
Connor Reed (2-1) started the game for the Crushers and picked up the tough luck loss. He pitched six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. Keegan Ghidotti gave up a run on four hits in an inning of work. Josh Laxer pitched a scoreless inning.
Horacio Acosta (6-2) gave up a run on three hits in 6.1 innings and he earned the win. Casey Brown pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and Brennan Smith (1) nailed down his first save of the season.
Barraza had a base hit, extending his on-base streak to seven games. Oliver knocked a base hit, extending his hit streak to five games.
The Crushers will have Monday off and start a three game homestand with the Southern Illinois Miners on Tuesday. The Crushers starting pitcher will be lefty Stetson Nelson (4-4, 4.27). The Miners will counter with right-handed pitcher, Jarrett Miller (5-3, 2.87). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.