Crushers Edge Otters
Lake Erie snaps four game slide in 8-7 victory
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers opened a nine game home stand at Mercy Health Stadium on Friday night and came away with an 8-7 victory over the Evansville Otters.
The Crushers (15-22) snapped a four game losing streak with the victory while the loss for the Otters (22-14) was their third in their last four games.
Evansville fired the first shot in the top of the first inning as Zach Biermann hit a solo homer to left, his 13th of the season.
Lake Erie plated a trio of runs in the bottom of second to take the lead. Kokko Figueiredo started the inning with a double down the line in left and came around to score on Sean Cheely’s RBI double to right. Austin White drove Devon Fisher home on a sacrifice fly before Kenen Irizarry brought in the final run of the inning on a RBI double to left center.
The Crushers added two more in the bottom of the fourth. Cheely belted his second double of the night to start the rally before Austin White walked. Jackson Valera brought them both home on a two out base hit to right field to give the Crushers a 5-1 lead.
Evansville was able to inch closer in the top of the fifth when Jeffrey Baez stroked a two out double to left center field to score Anthony Torreullas and Biermann.
Lake Erie answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Connor Owings reached on a one out double to left and came around to score on a wild pitch to put the Crushers in front, 6-3.
George Callil smashed a solo homer to start the top of the seventh inning and Elijah MacNamee scored on Baez’s groundout to bring the Otters within a run (6-5).
Lake Erie responded with a run in the bottom of the inning as Jake Gitter smashed a solo homer over the scoreboard in right, his third of the year.
The Otters tied the game in the top of the eighth inning. Dakota Phillips belted solo homer to start the inning and Biermann drove in the tying run on a two out single to center to bring MacNamee home.
The Crushers took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Sean Cheely reached on an infield single with one out, and scored the eventual game winning run on Irizarry’s RBI triple to left center.
Trevor Kuncl (1-0) pitched two-thirds of the eighth inning to pick up the win. Alexis Rivero (4) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to get the save. Jake Polancic (2-3) allowed a run on two hits in the eighth inning and suffered the loss.
Four Crushers hits safely multiple times on the night. Irizarry and Cheely paced the Crushers with three hits each, while Gitter and Owings both hit safely twice. Figueiredo doubled in the second inning and has now hit safely in six straight games, while Cheely has now reached safely in six straight.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday evening. Right-hander Jay Alvarez (1-2, 6.55) will start for the Crushers and the Otters will counter with right-hander Steve Pastora. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.