Crushers leave 14 on base in 5-2 loss to Beach Bums

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AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, saw a five game winning streak come to an end on Friday night, as they dropped 5-2 decision to the Traverse City Beach Bums at All Pro Freight Stadium.


For the Crushers (38-44) the loss was their first in seven days, snapping a five game winning streak, which was their longest in the second half of the season, while the victory for the Beach Bums (35-45) was their fifth in seven games against the Crushers this season.  


Starting pitching was great on both sides over the first six innings of the contest, but the Beach Bums scored three runs to snap a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh inning to pull away, while the Crushers left 14 men on base on the night.


Both teams squandered chances to score over the first two innings, before they both scored in the third. Marcos Derkes reached on a two-out single in the top of the third, and stole second base before scoring the game's first run on Ryan Bottger's RBI single to center.


Lake Erie was able to respond with a two-out rally of their own to take the lead in the bottom of the third. Rob Paller belted a one out double, before stealing third base. Connor Oliver reached on a two-out walk, before stealing second base, putting runners on second and third for Jose Barraza. Barraza delivered a clutch, two-run single through the right side on an 0-2 pitch to give the Crushers a 2-1 advantage.  


Traverse City tied the game in the top of sixth inning. Bottger reached on an infield single, and made his way to third on a base hit to right center off the bat of Jose Vargas. Moments later, Will Kengor drove Bottger home on a sac fly RBI.


A three run rally gave the Beach Bums the lead for good in the top of the seventh. The inning began on a base hit from Steven Patterson. Patterson made his way to second after Giancarlo Brugnoni reached on a fielder's choice, and they both advanced on a bunt single from Gaby Juarbe. Two batters later, Derkes gave the Beach Bums a 3-2 lead on a RBI groundout to score Patterson. Bottger followed with two-run triple to the gap in right center field to give the Beach Bums a 5-2 advantage.


The Crushers put a little threat together in the bottom of the seventh, but could not cash in. Richard Seigel and Eric Grabe reached on back-to-back two out singles, before Bryan De La Rosa walked to load the bases. However, the Beach Bums were able to get out of the inning as Max Casper popped out to second to end it.


Brad Duffy (1-2) took the loss, after allowing all three runs on three hits in the seventh. Tucker Simpson (3-3) picked up the victory for the Beach Bums, allowing a pair of runs on eight hits over six innings, and Luke Barker (5) struck out the side in the ninth to pick up the save. Stetson Nelson started the game for the Crushers, and allowed just a pair of runs on six hits while fanning eight over six innings.


Grabe paced the Crushers with a four hit performance, going 4-for-5 with a double and three singles. Barraza recorded a multi-hit game as well, going 2-for-5 with a pair of RBIs. De La Rosa reached twice and has now reached safely in seven straight games. Oliver extended his on base streak to 15 games, and Paller extended his on base streak to five games.


The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Traverse City Beach Bums at All Pro Freight Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Steve Hagen (5-5, 3.24) will start for the Crushers and the Beach Bums will go with right-hander Benjamin Libuda (3-3, 3.40). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.