AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers won a thriller against the Washington Wild Things Saturday night. A back-and-forth affair had to be settled in extra innings at Wild Things Park.
The Crushers (10-12) used their offense in the latter stages of the contest to knock off the Wild Things (10-12). Ean Walda was the named starter for Lake Erie. He pitched five quality innings with two runs allowed on four hits and five strikeouts.
The runs that Walda surrendered were an Andrew Czech solo blast, followed by a Bralin Jackson sacrifice fly to right field.
Washington carried that two-run advantage into the sixth inning. Wild Things starter McKenzie Mills was superb until granting a game-tying home run to Brody Wofford. Wofford has hit a homer in two of the last three games.
After the sixth inning, the game was tied at 2-2. Mills’ day came to a close following his work in the top of the sixth. His final numbers read as two runs on five hits along with seven strikeouts plus three walks.
Lake Erie snagged the lead in the top of the seventh inning. An RBI single from Karl Ellison started the scoring off. Isaac Benard came home on a wild pitch for the two-run advantage. The Crushers were not finished as Wofford scored Ellison on a single.
Washington would match the three-run inning after the seventh-inning stretch. Andrew Sohn delivered a bases-loaded single, allowing Nick Ward and Jackson to cross home plate. The Wild Things would benefit from a Joe Campagna base hit to score Hector Roa. After seven innings, the game had returned to a tie contest at 5-5.
Lake Erie turned to Daniel Kight in an attempt to reach extra innings. Kight loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the ninth. He wiggled out of the jam to send the game to extras where the Crushers would come to life offensively.
In the top of the tenth, a leadoff double off the bat of Connor Oliver brought Bryan DeLaRosa home from second base. Zack Gray would extend the Crushers lead with an RBI single. A second double in the frame, this time on an attempt from Trevor Achenbach, allowed Gray to move over to third base. Benard cashed in a sacrifice fly to help Gray tag home, giving the Crushers an 8-5 lead.
Washington could only salvage one run in its half of the tenth inning. The Crushers found their tenth win of the season Saturday with the 8-6 victory. Kight would prove to be the winning pitcher in the contest. The loss was handed to Zach Strecker.
Lake Erie had a handful of errors on the night; however, the offense covered up the defensive breakdowns.
The rubber match between the Crushers and Wild Things will take place Sunday. The first pitch is set for 5:35 pm.