Crushers Drop Heartbreaker at Home
Lake Erie loses late lead in 6-5 final to Tri-City
AVON Ohio —The Lake Erie Crushers had the Tri-City Valley Cats down to their final strike in the ninth inning of Friday night’s game at Mercy Health Stadium, but could not prevent a three run rally in the final frame in a 6-5 loss.
The loss for Crushers (27-37) marked the third time this season that they lost a game when leading after eight innings, while the win for the Valley Cats (40-24) was their third in four games against the Crushers this season.
Tri-City fired the first shot in the top of the first inning. Cito Culver walked and advanced to third on Jakob Goldfarb’s double to center before scoring on Juan Kelly’s groundout.
Lake Erie answered with a four run first inning to take the lead. They sent 10 batters to the plate and did all of their damage in just two hits. Jiandido Tromp and Zach Racusin started the inning with back-to-back walks. A wild pitch allowed them to advance and Tromp scored on Todd Isaac’s Jr.’s sacrifice fly. Jack Harris followed with a RBI single to left to give Lake Erie a 2-1 lead. Later in the inning, John Tuccillo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Harris and Sam Frontino worked a bases loaded walk to score Kemuel Thomas-Rivera.
Tri-City cut into that deficit in the top of the third when Pavin Parks blasted a solo homer to right, his eighth of the season.
The Crushers used the long ball to add to their advantage in the bottom of the third, when Josh Rego belted a solo homer to left, his second of the season.
Juan Kelly brought the Valley Cats back within a pair (5-3) in the top of the sixth inning when he stroked a solo homer to right.
Crusher closer Alexis Rivero (0-2) retired Juan Kelly on a line out to start the ninth before Oscar Campos singled to center. Rivero struck out Ian Walters and had a two strike count on Lamar Briggs who singled to center. Tanner Smith then belted a two run double to left to tie the game. Jaxon Hallmark beat out an infield single to third, and Smith scored all the way from second on the play to score the eventual game winner.
The Crushers had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the ninth. Racusin began the inning with a double to right before walks were issued to Scout Knotts and Jack Harris to load the bases. Thomas-Rivera then hit a line drive right back to the mound which was caught by Coleman Huntley (4), and he threw to third to double up Racusin. Huntley retired the next batter on a groundout to end the game.
Rivero suffered the loss for the Crushers after allowing all three runs in the ninth. Pavin Parks (1-1) scored the win after tossing a scoreless eighth inning in relief and Huntley picked up the save.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Valley Cats at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Yasel Santana (2-4, 4.57) will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.