Crushers hold Slammers to three hits in 5-1 victory
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, held the Joliet Slammers to just three hits on Friday night at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium as they came away with a 5-1 victory to take the series opener.
The victory snapped a three game losing streak for the Crushers (39-35) while the loss for the Slammers (31-45) was their third in their last four games.
The Crusher foursome of Sean Johnson (1-0), Augie Gallardo, Dalton Geekie and Logan Lombana limited the Slammers to just a run on three hits, and only one that went for extra bases.
Lake Erie used the long ball to fire the first shot in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Vieth walked on five pitches to start the inning and Dale Burdick followed with a two run homer over the wall in right, his ninth of the season.
A pair of extra base hits allowed the Crushers to add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth. Emmanuel Marrero started the inning with a double to the gap in left center field, and he came around to score moments later on Steven Kraft’s RBI double, his second two bagger of the night.
Joliet plated a run in the top of the sixth inning. Riley Krane reached on an error committed by Brody Wofford in right. Krane hit a fly ball deep to right that appeared to have been caught by Wofford, but then lost in the exchange from his glove to his throwing hand. Krane reached second on the play, and later scored on Dash Winningham’s RBI groundout.
Lake Erie plated two big insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh. Marrero started the inning with a single and made his way to third on Kraft’s third double of the game. Jake Vieth was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Burdick brought Marrero home on a sac fly RBI. Brian DeLaRosa then belted a RBI single to score Kraft, giving the Crushers a 5-1 lead.
In his Crusher debut, the 6-foot-7-inch Johnson went six innings and allowed just an unearned run on three hits while striking out nine batters to earn the victory. Gallardo, Geekie and Lombana all tossed scoreless innings in relief. Joliet’s Keenan Long (2-9) allowed three runs on six hits over five innings of work and took the loss.
Marrero and Kraft paced the Crushers with three hits each. Marrero went 3-for-5 and has now reached safely in four straight games. Kraft went 3-for-5 with three doubles, extending his hitting streak to eight games, and his on base streak to 31 games.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Slammers at Sprenger Stadium on Saturday evening. Lefty Jared Koenig (6-1, 2.38) will start for the Crushers and the Slammers will counter with right-hander Tyler Jones (1-1, 4.34). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.