Crushers Drop Series Opener
Lake Erie falls 5-4 in a close contest with Schaumburg
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers saw their come from behind effort cut short at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday evening, as they fell in their series opener to the Schaumburg Boomers, 5-4.
The loss for the Crushers (17-23) snapped a four game home winning streak, while the victory for the Boomers (17-21) was their first in a series opener since May 31.
Schaumburg was able to score the game’s first run in the top of the first inning without recording a hit. Alec Craig and William Salas started the inning with back-to-back walks before Joseph Sgambelluri (4-3) retired the next two batters. Clint Hardy walked to extend the inning and Brett Milazzo was hit by a 1-2 pitch to bring Craig home.
The Boomers added to their lead in the top of the sixth, as they started the inning with four straight singles. Chase Dawson’s base hit to center kickstarted the inning and he came around to score on Milazzo’s single to left. Dawson struck again for the Boomers in the seventh as he delivered a run scoring single to left field to plate Salas.
While the Boomers were building their lead, Erik Martinez (3-3) was cruising through the Lake Erie batting order. Martinez retired 13 in a row at one point and kept the Crushers off the board through six innings. Lake Erie finally got to him in the seventh. With runners on first and second and two out, Kokko Figueiredo sent a RBI single into left field to score Kenen Irizarry. On the play, Thomas DeBonville bobbled the ball in left, and the error allowed Jake Gitter to score from first base as well.
Schaumburg tacked on two more big insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning. Salas reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Nick Oddo to score and Cris Ruiz’s sacrifice bunt allowed Craig to score.
Lake Erie was able to put one last rally together in the bottom of the ninth. Jackson Valera singled with one out in the inning and came home moments later on Connor Owings’s towering two-run homer to right, his eighth of the season.
Martinez picked up the win for Schaumburg, allowing a pair of runs, only one earned on three hits while fanning six over seven innings. Darrell Thompson (3) picked up the save. Sgambelluri took the loss after allowing a pair of runs on four hits and struck out five over five innings.
Valera’s hit in the ninth extended his hitting streak to nine games. The two-run homer from Owings gives him 14 RBI in his last 13 games. Figueiredo led the Crushers with a 2-for-4 performance and has reached safely in 14 straight games.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Boomers at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday evening. Right-hander Julio Vivas (1-5, 5.36) will get the start for the Crushers. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.