Freedom Flies in the Finale
The Crushers comeback falls short as they drop the final game off the series
FLORENCE, Ky. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, lose on Sunday night, 10-5, to the Florence Freedom, failing to come back from an early 6-0 deficit while also committing five errors.
The loss for the Crushers (32-39) drops them to 3-3 in the month of August. Lake Erie does win this series as they won the first two games on Friday and Saturday. The win for the Freedom (31-41) ends their nine-game homestand in which they went 4-5 overall. They beat the Crushers in the season series, 4-2.
The Freedom scored at least one run in the first three innings. In the first inning, Andrew Godbold hit a solo home run to left field. In the second inning, the Freedom went up 2-0, as Jordan Brower hit a two-out single and Garrett Vail doubled, scoring Brower.
In the third inning, the Freedom extended their lead. Daniel Fraga and Taylor Oldham singled and then with two outs, Austin Newell singled to score Fraga from second base. Collins Cuthrell knocked a three-run home run to cap the four run inning.
Lake Erie attempted to come back in the fourth and fifth inning. In the fourth inning, with two outs, Eric Grabe singled and Richard Seigel walked. Brendan Costantino singled to right field allowing Grabe to score from second base. Godbold then misplayed the ball in right which allowed Seigel to score and Costantino to get to third base.
In the fifth inning, the Crushers' Max Casper and Robb Paller singled to start the inning. With one out, Connor Oliver singled to load the bases. Jose Barraza then grounded out to the Eric GrabeTravis Weaver who got the out at first base. Eric Grabe then singled to plate two more runs and after the fifth inning, the Freedom led 6-5.
The game was still a one run contest until the seventh inning when several errors by the Crushers' defense allowed the Freedom to increase their lead. Oldham and Godbold singled to start the inning. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball by the Crushers catcher, Bryan De La Rosa. With the Crushers infield playing in defensively, Cuthrell hit a ball to the third baseman, Costantino. The throw to home plate sailed past De La Rosa and went to the backstop. Crushers' pitcher Jordan McCoy backed him up but threw the ball past De La Rosa again. With OlMax Casperodbold already across the plate, an error by Max Casper allowed Cuthrell to get to third base. Then an error on Costantino, the fourth error on the play, at third base, allowed Cuthrell to score. The three run inning put the Freedom up, 9-5.
Florence added another run as Weaver reached on a fielder's choice and stole second base. He would come home as Crushers' pitcher Keegan Ghidotti fielded a ball off the bat of Taylor Oldham and threw the ball past Barraza at first base.
Paller, Oliver, Grabe and Costantino all had two hits in this game. Paller extended his hitting streak to five games.
Stetson Nelson (4-6) started the game for the Crushers and picked up the loss. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits and struck out five batters. Manny Arciniega pitched 1.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. McCoy allowed three runs in an inning of work and Ghidotti gave up an unearned run in the eighth inning.
Braulio Torres-Perez made his first start for the Freedom and went 4.2 innings, allowing nine hits and five runs, four earned. Pete Levitt (2-1) came on and got one out in the fifth inning and picked up the win. Davis Adkins went two innings, allowing two hits. T.J. Bozeman and Ethan Gibbons both pitched a scoreless inning.
The Crushers will have Monday off and then will travel to Washington, Pennsylvania to play the Wild Things on Tuesday. The Crushers and Wild Things will resume a game that was suspended in the second inning on May 22. Both teams' pitchers will be announced later. They will then play a seven inning game, following the completion of the first game. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.