Crushers Fall in Series Finale
Lake Erie sees home winning streak end in 14-3 loss to New Jersey
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers saw their bid at a sweep of the New Jersey Jackals upended at Mercy Health Stadium on Sunday night, as the Jackals scored early and often to beat the Crushers, 14-3.
The Crushers (32-34) saw a five game home winning streak come to an end with the loss while the win for the Jackals (31-34) was their third in six games against the Crushers this season.
The scoring started right away for the Jackals, as they plated four runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. Joe Simone started the game with a double and came around to score later in the inning when Justin Wylie reached on a fielder’s choice. The next batter, Josh Rehwaldt belted a three run homer to left, his 24th of the season.
Lake Erie responded with a pair in the bottom of the first inning. Jackson Valera was responsible for Lake Erie’s first run, as he belted a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season. Kemuel Thomas-Rivera reached on a single before Kenen Irizarry reached on a walk. The Crushers called for a double steal, and an errant throw on the play from New Jersey catcher Zak Whalin allowed Thomas-Rivera to score.
New Jersey responded with a two out rally that produced two more runs in the top of the second. Santiago Chirino started the two out rally with a single before Dalton Combs doubled and Wylie walked to load the bases. Rehwaldt struck again, as he belted a two run single to right.
Lake Erie was able to get one of those runs back in the bottom of the second inning. Bryan DeLaRosa reached on a one out walk, made his way to second on Austin White’s single and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Connor Owings brought DeLaRosa home a few moments later on a sacrifice fly to bring Lake Erie back within three (6-3).
The Jackals then put the game out of reach in the top of the third, as they sent all nine batters to the plate and scored five times on three hits while capitalizing on a pair of errors as well. Simone reached on a fielder’s choice to bring in the first run before Chirino and Combs belted back-to-back RBI singles. Later in the inning, Rehwaldt hit a ground ball to Owings at third, but his toss to first went out of play and the errant throw allowed two more runs to score.
New Jersey would go on to add single runs in the sixth, eighth and ninth to cushion their lead.
Matt Mulhearn (3-3), who had done very well in July, going 3-1 with a 1.11 ERA in his previous four starts, had a tough day on the mound and took the loss. He allowed 11 runs, seven earned on eight hits over two and a third innings of work. Leonardo Rodriguez (3-4) picked up the win for New Jersey after allowing three runs, only one earned on five hits while fanning six over five innings.
Thomas-Rivera and White led the way for Lake Erie offensively, as they both hit safely twice and reached three times on the night.
The Crushers are off on Monday but will begin a three game series with the Evansville Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.