August 24, 2023
Offensive explosion leads Crushers to series win
FLORENCE, KY – The Lake Erie Crushers returned the favor after last night’s setback by handing the Florence Y’alls a 14-10 loss tonight at Thomas More Stadium. In the Crushers’ (35-52) last meeting of the year with the Y’alls (35-52) the club was able to earn their third series win versus their divisional foe, and took the year six games to three.
Florence jumped ahead early in the bottom of the first. It was a Brennan Price home run to give the hosts an early advantage.
The lead did not last long though, as Lake Erie put up a pair of runs in the third inning on a Jack Harris laser over the wall. The Y’alls added another in the bottom of the frame on a Brian Fuentes RBI single, making it all square at two.
In the top of the fourth, Sean Cheely and Jarrod Watkins both doubled to lead off the inning. Kenen Irizarry struck out but reached on a wild pitch, which scored Watkins on the play, and he later touched home on a fielder’s choice RBI from Sam Frontino.
Florence answered with a trio of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Tristin Garcia doubled to score a pair and Price walked with the bases loaded to even the game at five – but, from then on it was all Grapes.
Lake Erie blew the lid off in the sixth inning, scoring seven and batting around on five hits in the frame. Irizarry hit a two-run missile over the wall. Josh Rego doubled to score a pair later and Sean Cheely also had a two-run single. Watkins drove in the last run on the Crushers’ second two-bagger of the inning.
Harris had the cherry on top in the ninth, when he launched his second bomb of the night over the wall to finalize the scoring for the Crushers.
It was a messy ending for Lake Erie. Shane Gustafson came on in the ninth and gave up five runs on just one hit. He walked four and gave up a hit-by-pitch which scored two. That preceded a bases-clearing double from Nick Wimmers. But, he struck out Fuentes to shut the door for the Crushers win.
Lake Erie finished with just two more hits than Florence but capitalized on the Y’alls’ free passes and mistakes. Rego, Watkins, Irizarry, Harris and Cheely each had multi-hit games. All five men had at least a pair of RBIs.
Stephen Chamblee went 4.0 innings as the starter, giving up five runs on as many hits. Perry Bewley (4-0) and Trevor Kuncl each tossed 2.0 scoreless frames. Bewley was the pitcher of decision.
Edgar Martinez (7-9) gave up all 12 runs as the righty went 5.2 innings as the starter tonight for Florence. He surrendered just seven hits but issued four walks. In total, the Florence pitching staff stuck out 14, but it did not matter as the damage by the Lake Erie bats tonight was somehow unavoidable.
The Crushers will take the five-hour bus ride back north tonight and get ready for their last home series of the year beginning tomorrow against the Washington Wild Things. The first pitch of the series is at 7:05 PM ET.