Back and Forth Battle Belongs to Crushers
Crushers come from behind twice to beat Wild Things 6-5
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, came from behind twice on Wednesday evening in front of a crowd of 3,235 fans at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium and came away with a 6-5 victory over the Washington Wild Things.
The win for the Crushers (22-21) puts them in sole possession of first place in the Frontier League’s Eastern Division, while the loss for the Wild Things (19-28) was their fourth in their last five games.
Washington squandered a chance to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning after they left the bases loaded. Singles from Hector Roa and Saige Jenco sandwiched a walk issued to JJ Fernandez to start the inning. However, Crusher lefty Jared Koenig struck out the next two batters before inducing an inning ending pop out to end the threat.
Despite wasting an opportunity to take an early lead in the second, the Wild Things were able to fire the first shot in the third. Koenig retired the first two batters of the inning, before allowing three consecutive singles. Cody Erickson started the string of singles, followed by a base hit from Roa, and Fernandez drove Erickson home on a RBI single to right.
Lake Erie responded with a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. James Davison Jr. belted a one out single to right, before stealing second base. He scored a few moments later on Aaron Hill’s RBI double into the left field corner to tie the game. Two batters later, Hill scored the go-ahead run on Zach Racusin’s two out RBI single to left.
The Wild Things regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Chase Slone reached on a fielder’s choice with two outs, before Koenig issued back-to-back walks to Blake Adams and Cameron Baranek to load the bases. Erickson followed with a two out, two run single to center to give Washington a 3-2 lead.
The Crushers delivered a three run counterpunch in the bottom of the fifth inning to take the lead again. Brody Wofford started the inning with a single to left and came around to score on Davison’s RBI double into the right field corner. Davison scored the go-ahead run moments later on Hill’s RBI single to left, and Hill scored after Dale Burdick was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give Lake Erie a 5-3 lead.
Lake Erie used the long ball to add to their lead in the bottom of the seventh, as Emmanuel Marrero led the inning off with a solo homer to right, his seventh of the year. The Wild Things answered in the top of the eighth, on Erickson’s two run single to center to make it 6-5, but didn’t score after that.
Lake Erie pitched out of trouble all night long, as the Wild Things had at least one base runner in all but one inning, and stranded 13 on the night. Newly acquired Evy Ruibal (1-0) scored the victory after tossing an inning and a third of scoreless relief. Dalton Geekie (1) worked a scoreless ninth inning to grab the save. Washington’s Eric Morrell (1-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings of action.
Seven Crushers hit safely on the night, with the top two batters in the order, Davison Jr. and Hill leading the way. Davison Jr. went 2-for-5 and scored twice, while Hill turned in his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with two runs and a pair of RBI as well.
The Crushers will finish their three game series with the Washington Wild Things at Sprenger Stadium on Thursday night. Right-hander Dylan Mouzakes (3-3, 2.79) will start for the Crushers and the Wild Things will counter with lefty Nick Wegmann (3-4, 4.11). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.