Long ball looms large in loss to Joliet
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers surrendered a trio of homeruns on Tuesday evening at Mercy Health Stadium and dropped the opening game of their series to the Joliet Slammers, 8-2.
Lake Erie (15-15) saw a three game winning streak come to a close in the loss, while the Slammers (12-17) have won two out of their last three.
The long ball was the story through the first three innings of the contest. Lake Erie fired first in the bottom of the second inning. Brody Wofford began the inning with a solo shot to right field, his fourth homer of the season. Connor Oliver doubled in the inning and Steve Passatempo singled, putting runners at the corners with one out, but the Crushers could not cash in.
In the top of the third, the Slammers used the long ball to take the lead. Alonzo Jones Jr. reached on a double down the line in left and Kyle Jacobsen reached on an error. Lake Erie starter Sean Johnson (0-5) was an out away from getting out of the inning before Braxton Davidson smashed a three-run homer over the wall in right center field, his sixth of the season to give Joliet a 3-1 lead.
Joliet was able to add two more after the rain came in the top of the fifth inning. Jacobsen reached on a lead off single, and Davidson was intentionally walked. A wild pitch allowed them both to advance before Patrick Causa drove them both home on a single to center field.
In the sixth inning, the Slammers removed any doubt with a trio of runs. Jacobsen drove in two on an inside the park homerun, and Ware followed with a solo shot over the wall in right field.
Lake Erie added one more run in the bottom of the ninth. Zack Gray doubled to left center field, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Johnson took the loss for the Crushers, allowing five runs on six hits while fanning eight batters over five innings of work. Mario Samuel (1-1) picked up the victory for Joliet, tossing 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Steven Kraft reached base four times on the night for the Crushers, while Passatempo led the Crushers with a pair of hits, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
The Crushers and Slammers will continue their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday night. Lefty Paul Hall Jr. (1-1, 7.03) will get the start for the Crushers and the Slammers will counter with right-hander Adam Zuk (0-1, 6.14). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.