Crushers Fall in Extras
Otters come from behind to beat Lake Erie, 5-4 in 10 innings
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers dropped their series opener to the Evansville Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday night, falling in 10 innings, 5-4.
The loss for the Crushers (32-35) was their second straight after winning five in a row at home, while the victory for Evansville (38-28) was their sixth in 10 games against the Crushers this season.
Lake Erie was able to get on the board first, scoring in the bottom of the first. Connor Owings started the frame with single to right. Owings stole second base and came around to score on Jackson Valera’s RBI single to center.
Evansville responded quickly, scoring three times in the top of the second. J.R. Davis walked to start the inning and made his way to second on Zach Biermann’s base hit. Jeffrey Baez followed with a RBI double to left to score Davis. A wild pitch scored Biermann later in the inning and George Callil drove in the final run of the inning with a RBI single to center.
The Crushers then put a two out rally together in the bottom of the third, scoring three times with two outs to regain the lead. Kenen Irizarry started the two out rally with a base hit. Kokko Figueiredo followed with a single to right before Austin White walked to load the bases. Jake Gitter delivered a clutch two run single to right field to tie the game at 3-3. Bryan DeLaRosa followed Gitter’s big knock with one of his own, as he gave the Crushers the lead with a RBI single to left to score White.
Evansville tied things up in the top of the fifth. Bryan Rosario was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Jay Alvarez struck out the next two batters. Biermann struck again just a few moments later, with a run scoring triple to right center, tying the game at 4-4.
Lake Erie squandered a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. They had the bases loaded with one out against former Crusher Augie Gallardo (1-3), but Gallardo was able to find his way out of the jam and send the game into extra innings.
In the 10th, Steven Sensley advanced to third on J.R. Davis’s fly out. Biermann was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners, before Baez hit a slow chopper to short. Irizarry threw out the runner at second, allowing Baez to reach on a fielder’s choice and Sensley to score.
The Crushers had Austin White at second in the bottom of the inning with the international tie-breaker rule, but Logan Sawyer (15) struck out all three batters he faced to end the game.
Gallardo picked up the win after pitching an adventurous, yet scoreless ninth inning. Sawyer picked up the save, while Sam Curtis (3-3) suffered the loss after allowing an unearned run in two hitless innings of relief.
Three Crushers hit safely multiple times on the night. Owings and Valera both went 2-for-5 at the top of the order while Irizarry went 2-for-3 and reached on a pair of walks as well.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday evening. Lefty Gunnar Kines (2-3, 4.31) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.