Crushers use hot start to snap five-game losing streak
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday morning with a 4-3 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners at All Pro Freight Stadium.
For the Crushers (30-37) the victory not only snapped a five-game losing streak, but also a four-game slide at home, marking their first home victory since July 10. The loss for the Miners (45-22) was their third over their last five games on their current road trip.
After being held to just three hits on Tuesday night, the Crusher offense turned things around with nine hits on Wednesday morning, and received a strong start from Steve Hagen to snap their losing streak.
Lake Erie struck first, scoring a trio of runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Newly acquired Robb Paller started the inning with a five pitch walk, and made his way to third on a double off the bat of Sean Hurley. Connor Oliver followed with a RBI single to right to score Paller, giving Lake Erie a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch then scored Hurley and put Oliver on third, before Jose Barraza brought Oliver home on a RBI groundout.
The Miners were held in check by Hagen (4-4), who retired the first 14 batters he faced, before Steve Marino reached on a two-out triple to right in the top of the fifth inning. Two pitches later, Riley Moore smashed a two-out RBI single to right to drive in the Miners' first run of the game.
Lake Erie was able to get a huge insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hurley reached on a one out single, made his way to second on a single from Barraza, and scored on Eric Grabe's RBI double left center.
Southern Illinois scored a pair of runs to make things interesting in the top of the eighth. They had the bases loaded with one out, when Craig Massey stroked a run scoring single to center. The next batter, Alex De Leon, drove in a run on a sacrifice fly to plate the final run of the game.
Hagen scored the victory for the Crushers after allowing three runs on seven hits over 7.1 innings of action while fanning six in the process. Chandler Jagodzinski (8) worked a perfect ninth inning to score the save. Dan Ludwig (7-2) allowed four runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings and took the loss.
A pair of Crushers hit safely multiple times. Hurley went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Grabe went 2-for-4 as well with a double and a single. In his first start with the Crushers, Paller reached three times in four plate appearances with a single and two walks.
The Crushers will finish their three game series with the Southern Illinois Miners at All Pro Freight Stadium on Thursday night. Right-hander Mike Devine (7-4, 3.38) will start for the Crushers and the Miners will go with right-hander Brooks Trujillo (1-3, 4.28). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.