September, 2, 2023
Sauget, IL – The Lake Erie Crushers dropped the Gateway Grizzlies Saturday night at Grizzlies Ballpark by a final score of 6-4.
The Crushers (37-58) were able to snap a four game losing skid as they will face the Grizzlies (58-37) in a rubber match tomorrow in attempts to win their first series against their divisional foe this year.
Lake Erie opened the scoring in the first frame. Kenen Irizarry blasted his fifth home run of the year over the wall to give his squad a 1-0 advantage.
Gateway answered in the bottom of the inning as Mark Vierling opened the offense with his own solo shot to even the score.
The Crushers had an answer in the top of the third inning. Sam Frontino led off the inning which preceded Scout Knotts reaching via an error. On the play, Frontino scored and the Grapes had the lead at 2-1.
They added two more runs in the next inning. Jarrod Watkins sent a homer over the fence. Later, Sean Cheely reached first base on a wild pitch while striking out. Cheely then stole second and scored on an RBI knock from Frontino.
The Grizzlies added one apiece in the fifth and sixth innings on a fielder’s choice and sacrifice fly, which made it a 4-3 game in favor of Lake Erie, heading into the latter stages of the night.
The offense of the Crushers had more runs to disperse in the ninth inning. John Tuccillo singled which was followed by a Frontino walk. Irizarry later reached on a fielder’s choice, and an error by the first baseman scored both runners to give Lake Erie a three-run lead.
The Grizzlies’ attempt at a comeback was cut short in the last inning. After Vierling launched his second big fly of the night, Trevor Kuncl (Sv, 1) retired the last and slammed the door for the Crushers win.
Yasel Santana (5-6) went 5.0 innings allowing two runs on five hits while earning the win. He did not walk anyone for the first time all season while in the starting role. Carson LaRue (5-8) took the loss after giving up four runs in 5.0 innings while striking out eight.
Tuccillo and Frontino led the offensive regime for the Crushers with two hits a piece.
Lake Erie will be back in action tomorrow for the final game of the season versus Gateway. The Crushers will look to end on a good note and avoid setting a new mark for the worst record in franchise history. The first pitch is at 6:05 PM CDT.