May 15, 2024

Crushers Walk Off (literally) Against Joliet to take Series

Avon, Ohio – Another day, another win for the Lake Erie Crushers as they start the 2024 season with a 4-1 record thanks to a 9th inning walk-off walk by Ethan Skender, winning by a slim score of 1-0 over the Joliet Slammers (2-3). The Crushers now sit at 2nd place in the Frontier League West standings.

Both starting pitchers were excellent, with Lake Erie’s LHP Matt Valin tossing five scoreless frames, the best starting performance by a Crusher in the first five contests. Joliet’s RHP Zac Westcott equaled Valin’s outing with a masterful one of his own, going 6 IP, giving up just 3 H, 3 BB while striking out seven.

Ronald Washington had the play of the game with an exceptional diving catch in left field to rob the Slammers of a run, ending the top of the 3rd with the game still scoreless.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, hope started to glimmer for the Crushers as a hustle double by CF Jack Harris with one out was a bid to light the spark for the offense.

Unfortunately for the Crushers, the next batter, pinch-hitter Sean Cheely popped out in foul territory to end the threat.

Crushers RHP Trevor Kuncl would twirl a scoreless top of the 9th, sending the Crushers to the plate with a chance to win it in walk-off fashion.

Crushers SS Jarrod Watkins singled into left field to put the winning run on base in the bottom of the 9th with the score still knotted at zero. The following batters, C John Tuccillo and PH Vincent Byrd Jr. drew walks against Joliet reliever, RHP Nick Bautista.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, 2B Ethan Skender stood tall in a 3-2 count watching a ball go low for the game-winning walk. His eye at the plate would trot Watkins home for the 1-0 win, sending the Crushers streaking with, now, four straight W’s.

Trevor Kuncl (1-0) snags the winning decision for Lake Erie, with Joliet’s Nick Bautista (0-1) being handed the loss.

The Lake Erie Crushers look to sweep the Joliet Slammers with another win on Thursday. The two sides will go toe-to-toe at Crushers Stadium for the final game of the series on May 16, at 11:05 a.m. EST.

Box Score:

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Joliet Slammers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
Lake Erie Crushers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 0


Frontier League Standings:

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