AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers took care of business on Father’s Day against the third-place team in the Northeast division in the Washington Wild Things.
The Crushers were fueled to victory after a splendid seventh inning at the plate. The visiting Lake Erie squad recorded a five-spot in the inning, which would prevail to be enough to clinch another road victory.
Steven Kraft opened the game with a leadoff triple. Isaac Benard would waste no time to bring Kraft the final ninety feet with an RBI single.
That 1-0 Crushers advantage would vanish in the bottom of the third inning. The Wild Things would pot a pair of runs in the frame, starting with a Nick Ward sacrifice fly to left field. Then, Connor Perry would tag home to secure the lead on a Grant Heyman base hit.
Freshly signed, Jake Pilarski jumped in for his first start with Lake Erie. The Pittsburgh native lasted three innings, surrendering two runs on three hits. He added four strikeouts and four walks during his inaugural start. Sam Curtis took over for Pilarski for four innings in an incredible effort. He struck out two Washington hitters and allowed just one hit.
No run support would be provided on either side until the big seventh for Lake Erie. Designated hitter Bryan DeLaRosa delivered a double, scoring his catching partner Karl Ellison. The next man to step into the box was Zack Gray. He launched a three-run blast over the fence to grab a 5-2 lead. General McArthur would score unearned later in the inning to stretch the gap to four runs.
Kevin McNorton had the pitching responsibilities for the home team in the finale. He went six-plus innings and was pulled after DeLaRosa’s two-bagger. His stat line finished with four runs on six hits accompanied by five strikeouts and a walk. Jesus Balaguer coughed up the home run pitch to Gray, who was the first batter he faced.
A Perry double in the bottom of the ninth would slim the contest to a two-run separation but would be all the Wild Things could get.
Curtis was awarded the win in the rubber match, as the loss was handed to McNorton. The defeat puts Washington at 10-13 this season and six games behind the Sussex County Miners.
The victory places the Crushers in second place in the Central division with an 11-12 record. They sit one game back of the Schaumburg Boomers.
Lake Erie has won four of its last five series outright, with the other being a split in a four-game head-to-head with the Southern Illinois Miners.
The Crushers return to Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday to open a mid-week series with Equipe Quebec. The first pitch, along with all of the action, will begin at 7:05 pm.