Crushers Come Back to Beat Otters
Lake Erie erases early deficit to take series opener, 6-4
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers made a pair of three run deficits disappear at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday morning as they came from behind to defeat the Evansville Otters, 6-4.
The victory for the Crushers (26-35) was their eighth in a series opener and the loss for the Otters (34-26) was their fourth straight against the Crushers in Avon this season.
Evansville capitalized on a pair of Lake Erie errors to score their first three runs of the game in the top of the second. Jomar Reyes started the inning with a single and made his way to second after Crushers shortstop Jarrod Watkins could not handle a throw at second from second baseman Kemuel Thomas-Rivera. Moments later, on a John Dyer bunt, an errant throw from catcher Jackson Pritchard allowed Reyes to score to give Evansville the lead. George Callil and Kona Quiggle brought in the final two runs of the inning on RBI singles.
Lake Erie answered with their first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Watkins provided the fireworks with a solo homer to right, his second of the season.
The Otters came right back with a run in the top of the third inning to take a 4-1 lead. Jeffrey Baez started the inning with a double to right, and he came around to score on Ethan Skender’s two out RBI single to left. From that point forward, the Crushers limited the Otters to just two hits.
The long ball was Lake Erie’s source of runs in the bottom of the third as they began their comeback. Solo homers from Jiandido Tromp and Todd Isaacs Jr. brought the Crushers back within a run (4-3). Both homered to left, for Tromp it was his second and it was Isaacs’s third bomb of the season.
Tromp came through again for Lake Erie in the bottom of the fourth. Pritchard walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a single from Scout Knotts. Austin White reached on a fielder’s choice to move Pritchard to third and he scored the game tying run on Tromp’s RBI groundout.
A clutch two out hit from Tromp gave Lake Erie the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Pritchard started the rally with a one out single to left. Knotts followed with a double to the gap in right center, and with two outs, Tromp struck again as he belted a two run single to center to score Pritchard and Knotts to give Lake Erie a 6-4 lead.
Perry Bewley (2-0) tossed two scoreless innings of one hit relief and fanned three batters to secure the win. Trevor Kuncl held the lead with a perfect eighth inning in relief and Alexis Rivero (6) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to get the save. Justin Watland (6-4) took the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings.
Four Crushers hit safely multiple times. Tromp drove in four runs, making him the first Crusher to accomplish that feat this season. He went 2-for-4 at the top of the order with a run and the four RBI. Isaacs went 2-for-4 with the solo homer and a bunt base hit, while Thomas-Rivera went 2-for-4 as well and Knotts went 2-for-4 with a single and a double.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday morning. Right-hander JD Hammer (2-3, 2.87) will start for the Crushers and the Otters will counter with righty Zach Smith (5-2, 3.27). The first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.