August 11, 2023
Box Score Link: https://www.frontierleague.com/sports/bsb/2022-23/boxscores/20230811_92n4.xml
FLORENCE, KY – The Lake Erie Crushers snagged a Game 1 win versus the Florence Y’alls, as the club put on an offensive clinic scoring eight times on a season-high 16 knocks.
The Crushers (30-46) jumped on the Y’alls (32-44) early and never looked back. They put together another complete game of baseball for the second night in a row and have something to build on.
Collin Mathews got the scoring going for Lake Erie in the second inning. It was a two-out two-RBI double that scored Jarrod Watkins and Kenen Irizarry. Mathews was moving to third base on the throw home in an attempt to gun down Irizarry, but Ed Johnson airmailed it to the plate and the ball sailed into the Y’alls dugout. Mathews came home to score, and it was 3-0 Lake Erie.
The Crushers tacked on another pair in the fifth inning. After back-to-back singles to start the offense off, Scout Knotts drove in a run on an RBI knock. Two batters later Hector Roa hit a missile to dead center which came along with Lake Erie’s second run.
The Y’alls got one back on a Mattews homer in the bottom of the frame. It would mark the last hit that the southpaw starter Jonaiker Villalobos would allow tonight. In the bottom of the eighth Florence got one more – but with runners and second and third Brayden Bonner recorded the final out to limit the damage.
The offense had one more pile of runs to drop onto Florence in the ninth inning. Jiandido Tromp led off with his third big fly of the year on a missile to left-center field. Later, with Zach Racusin on third, Roa drove in his second run of the night on a single to right-center field. The next batter, Watkins, doubled to score Roa and mark the Crushers’ final run of the night.
Sam Curtis gave up one run on an RBI single, but shut the door on the Y’alls to secure the Lake Erie win in the bottom of the ninth.
Villalobos (2-3) tallied his second victory of the season after going 6.0 innings allowing just a run on two hits. He walked four and struck out as many. Trevor Kuncl, Brayden Bonner and Curtis all held their own out of the bullpen. Kuncl threw a scoreless seventh while racking up two punchouts.
The loss was handed to Evan Brabrand (3-9). Despite pitching 7.0 innings the right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits while surrendering two walks and striking out five.
The Crushers got multi-hit performances out of Tromp, Racusin, Knotts, Roa, Watkins and Irizarry. The club beat their previous season’s best 14 hits, a marker they hit twice and last set on July 26 against the Evansville Otters, by adding two more tonight.
Lake Erie will be back in action tomorrow in an attempt to do something they haven’t done all season long – win a series on the road. The first pitch is at 6:36 PM ET.