Hit Me with Your Best Shot
Crushers plunked by four pitches, defeat the Wild Things, 6-1
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, continued their winning ways on Friday night, keeping their playoff hopes alive with a 6-1 victory over the Washington Wild Things at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The victory for the Crushers (47-47) gives them eight in their last 10 overall, and puts them at the .500-mark for the first time since June 21, when they were 16-16. The loss for the Wild Things (45-47), was just their third in 10 games against the Crushers this season, and officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
Though the Wild Things outhit the Crushers, 7-6, the Crushers took advantage of six free passes, and they were hit by four pitches on the night as well.
Lake Erie plated a trio of runs in the bottom of the first inning, and did so on only one hit. Robb Paller walked to start the inning before Brendan Costantino was plunked by a pitch. Two batters later, Jose Barraza walked on six pitches to load the bases, and Eric Grabe followed with a bases clearing triple to the gap in right-center field.
The Crushers were able to add to their lead with single runs in the fourth and fifth. Max Casper walked with one down in the bottom of the fourth inning, and came around to score on a two out RBI single from Connor Oliver. Eric Grabe kicked off the fifth inning with a single to left and Sean Hurley followed with a RBI double to left.
Washington cut into the deficit on a scary play in the top of the sixth inning. Andrew Heck started the inning with a triple to the gap in right-center field, before Steve Hagen (7-6) struck out Chris Grayson. The next batter, Ricky Rodriguez hit a line drive right back to the mound which bounced off of Hagen, resulting in a RBI single. Due to injury caused by the line shot off of Hagen, he had to leave the game and he was replaced by Manny Arciniega.
The Crushers added another run in the bottom of the seventh, and did so without recording a hit. Barraza was plunked by a pitch to start the inning, before walks were issued to Grabe and Hurley to load the bases. Parker Norris was then hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Barraza, plating the final run of the contest.
Hagen scored the victory for the Crushers, allowing just a run on four hits while fanning five batters over 5.1 innings of action. Manny Arciniega, Jordan McCoy and Brady Duffy combined to toss 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Christian Powell (1-1) took the loss for the Wild Things after allowing four runs on four hits over four innings.
Eight out of the starting nine reached safely at least once for the Crushers. Grabe led the way for the Crushers, going 2-for-2 with a run and he drove in three, extending his on base streak to 13 games in the process.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Washington Wild Things at All Pro Freight Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Josh Heddinger (4-5, 5.60) will start for the Crushers, and right-hander Luke Wilkins (3-7, 4.20) is scheduled to start for Washington. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.