Crushers Drop Sudden Death Decision
Lake Erie drops middle game to Schaumburg in sudden death
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers dropped their first home sudden death game in franchise history on Wednesday evening, as they came up on the wrong end of a 6-5 decision against the Schaumburg Boomers at Mercy Health Stadium.
The loss for Crushers (32-48) was their 12th in a game decided by a run this season, while the win for the Boomers (46-33) was their second in a sudden death contest this season.
Lake Erie fired the first shot for the second night in a row. Jiandido Tromp and Zach Racusin started the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles. Josh Rego’s fly out to deep center field allowed Tromp to reach third and he scored on a wild pitch.
Schaumburg tied the game in the top of the second. Chase Dawson started the inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Yasel Santana struck out Blake Grant-Parks before walking Blake Berry and hitting Kokko Figueiredo with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases. Zach Huffins then reached on a fielder’s choice and scored Dawson to tie the game at 1-1.
It didn’t take long for the Crushers to respond, as they regained the lead in the bottom of the third. Kenen Irizarry reached on an infield single and an errant throw from second baseman Will Prater allowed him to reach second. Irizarry stole third and scored the go-ahead run on Rego’s RBI single to left.
The Boomers went to work in the top of the fifth inning where they took the lead by scoring three times on just a pair of hits. Figueiredo walked to start the inning and Huffins followed with a single to left. A one out walk was issued to Alec Craig to load the bases before Travis Holt shifted the momentum with one swing of the bat. Holt belted a base hit to left field which plated a pair of runs. On the play, Collin Matthews’s throw from left sailed to the backstop, allowing Craig to scored as well, giving the Boomers a 4-2 lead.
Lake Erie responded with a run in the bottom of the inning. Racusin walked to start the inning. A wild pitch put him on second and he advanced to third on Irizarry’s groundout before Rego brought him home with his second RBI single of the night.
The Crushers tied the game in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jarrod Watkins walked with two out in the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sean Cheely brought him home a few moments later on a clutch, two out RBI single to center to tie the game at 4-4.
Travis Holt smacked a two out RBI single to score Huffins for the Boomers in the top of the 10th inning, and Lake Erie responded in the home half as John Tuccillo’s RBI groundout scored Watkins to tie the game at 5-5.
The Frontier League’s sudden death rules allow the home team to decide if they want to pitch or hit, and Lake Erie manager Jared Lemieux decided to pitch. Dawson, who made the final out in the 10th inning started the sudden death frame on first base. Blake Grant-Parks floated a soft single into shallow right field which allowed Dawson to reach third. Blake Berry was intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing Figueiredo to the plate and he flew out to deep left field, allowing Dawson to score and win the game.
Sam Curtis (1-2) was tagged with the loss and Jake Joyce (4-4) scored the victory for the Boomers.
Racusin’s single in his first at bat extended his hitting streak to 13 games, while Rego, Watkins and Cheely all turned in two hit games for the Crushers.
The Crushers will finish their series with the Boomers at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night. Lefty Jonaiker Villalobos (2-3, 7.08) will get the start for the Crushers and the Boomers will counter with right hander Luis Perez (5-4, 4.45). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.