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May 23, 2023
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada – The Lake Erie Crushers dropped a thriller in the opening contest of a three-game set versus the Trois-Rivieres Aigles. It was late-night drama at Stade Quillorama, as the game went into extra innings, and Lake Erie could not hold on for a 5-4 loss.
The Crushers (6-4) struggled to find the scoreboard and waited until the eighth inning to strike. Sean Cheely led off the top of the frame with a walk, and was advanced to second off of a fielder’s choice from Todd Isaacs Jr. After a line drive out recorded by Santiago Chirino, Brendan Dadson came away with a huge two-out knock which drove in Cheely.
In the ninth, Lake Erie was down 2-1. Sicnarf Loopstok led the inning off on second base after drilling a single and advancing on an error. After Loopstok advanced to third on a wild pitch, Kenen Irizarry hit into a fielder’s choice, which allowed another Crusher to score, tying it at two a piece.
Lake Erie took the lead for the first time all game in extra innings. Isaacs Jr. hit a triple to lead off, scoring Santiago Chirino who was the designated runner on second. Dadson hit a sacrifice fly later in the inning, scoring Isaacs Jr. to give the Crushers what seemed to be a comfortable two-run advantage.
The Aigles (4-6) scored in their first licks. After a Nate Scantlin leadoff single, Ricardo Sanchez laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner over. It would not matter, as Juan Kelly came to the plate next and hit an RBI triple. Steve Brown also jumped on the hit train, and laced an RBI double into the outfield, scoring Kelly and making it a 2-0 game.
That first inning would be all Trois-Rivieres could muster until the 10th inning, but they came through in the clutch.
After a one-out single to put runners at the corners, Tyler Clark-Chiapparelli hit into a fielder’s choice to score an RBI. What could have been a game-ending double play on the roller, turned out to be an errant throw from the infield allowing Chiapparelli to reach safely. This brought up Sadler Goodwin, who hit a game-tying RBI single the next at-bat.
Still with runners at the corners, the first pitch to Kelly got past John Tuccillo, which allowed Goodwin to score on a wild pitch. Ballgame.
Despite the loss, it was another gem from the Crushers starter Matt Mulhearn. After his hiccup in the first, he allowed no more runners to come across through seven innings of action. He gave up seven hits, but registered four punchouts and only surrendered one free pass.
Darrien Ragins came out of the pen to pitch a scoreless inning, and JD Hammer came in during the ninth and 10th.
The Crushers had a big name return to the lineup in Isaacs Jr. tonight. After spending the last two series sidelined with an injury, the former Minor Leaguer came out and went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a double and a triple. His presence was a great sight to see and an even better sign for the future of the season.
This was not only Lake Erie’s first game on the road, after closing out a nine-game home stand to begin 2023, but also their first extra-innings affair. Tonight’s loss marks the only time they dropped two straight ball games this year.
They will be looking for a rebound in tomorrow’s nightcap with the Aigles, which begins at 7:05 PM ET.