Crushers lose the game by a final score of 6-2 to Florence
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers’, presented by Mercy Health, bullpen had an uncharacteristic night as the Florence Freedom scored four runs in the seventh off the bullpen to go on and win 6-2. With the win the Freedom go up 2-0 in the best of five series.
The Crushers (0-2) now face the chance of being swept on Friday at home. While the Freedom (2-0) have set themselves up in the perfect opportunity to head to the championship series. The two wins at home puts all the pressure on Lake Erie.
Pat Ledet started for the Crushers and pitched well but the only problem was his pitch count. Over his 4.0 innings, Ledet threw 96 pitches where he gave up one run on four hits, walked one and struck out five. Logan Lombana (0-1) got the loss as he gave up two runs over his 2.1 innings of work. Mike Castellani (1-0) earned the win as he threw 8.0 innings where he gave up two runs on eight hits, walked none and struck out eight.
The scoring was started by the Crushers in this one. In the top of the fourth inning, Steven Kraft hit a lead off single and then stole second to put himself into scoring position. Castellani got the next two batters out using seven pitches but then hit Zach Racusin with a pitch to put runners on first and second. Jake Vieth was the one who came up with the big hit as he hit an RBI double to make it a 1-0 lead.
The lead only lasted until the next half inning though as Florence tied the game with an RBI double of their own. With a runner on first and one out, Taylor Bryant drew out a seven pitch at-bat against Ledet before he hit the RBI double.
In the top of the fifth, Aaron Hill put the Crushers ahead with one swing. On an 0-1 count, Hill drilled a homer over the right field wall to make it a 2-1 Lake Erie lead.
But Florence wasted no time in answering back with a run of their own. In the bottom of the fifth, with no one on and one out Luis Pintor hit a solo home run to tie the game.
The inning that was a killer for the Crushers was the seventh. Logan Lombana was in his third inning of relief work when he hit the first batter with a pitch. The next batter, Austin Wobrock, laid down a sac bunt to move the runner into scoring position. Augie Gallardo then came in to pitch to Connor Crane in relief of Lombana. Gallardo got Crane to fly out on the second pitch of the at-bat to give the Crushers some hope. But Pintor continued to be a Crushers killer and came up clutch for the Freedom again. Pintor hit an RBI double to give his team the lead but the Freedom were not done there. Florence would go on to score three more runs off Gallardo before the inning was over.
But Lake Erie did not go down without a fight. In the top of the ninth with Karl Craigie on the mound, Dale Burdick and Racusin both hit singles to start the inning. Vieth then hit a grounder to the first baseman Crane but the Freedom could not turn the double play. With runners at the corners and one out, Craigie came up huge as he struck out Bryan De La Rosa for the second out. Craigie then got a ground out to end the game and seal the deal for Florence.
The Crushers will play game three of the divisional round with the Florence Freedom on Friday at Sprenger Health Care Stadium in Avon, Ohio. The starting pitchers for both teams are still TBA. But the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 10 teams operating throughout the Midwest. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.