Lake Erie rallies but falls short in 10-7 loss
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers made a pair of three run deficits disappear at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday night, but ultimately fell by a trio of runs in their series opener to the Southern Illinois Miners, 10-7.
Lake Erie (34-44) has now lost five games in a row, and six out of their last seven overall, while Southern Illinois (45-34) has won seven in a row.
The Miners fired first in the top of the second with a trio of runs. The first three batters reached safely to load the bases for Arturo Nieto, who brought in the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly. Jarrod Watkins singled home the next two runs to cap the big inning.
Lake Erie responded with four in the bottom of the second. It all started on a solo homer to left from Bryan DeLaRosa, his second of the season. Two out walks were issued to Nick Rotola and Eric Callahan before Zach Racusin’s RBI single to right. Steven Kraft then reached on an infield single to score both Racusin and Callahan to give the Crushers the lead.
The Miners answered quickly with a four spot in the third. Anthony Brocato belted a one out double and came around to score on Jamey Smart’s RBI single to center. Jared Mang followed with a two run homer to left, his eighth of the year. Nieto extended the inning on a two out single to center and scored on Watkins’s triple to right field.
The Crushers then scored three in the fourth inning to the the game. Rotola singled to left and Callahan followed with a walk. Racusin walked to load the bases, and Kraft singled through the right side of the infield to score Rotola. Trevor Achenbach’s infield single scored Callahan and Karl Ellison reached on a fielder’s choice to plate Racusin. However, after the Ellison at bat, the Crushers would not reach base again the rest of the night.
Southern Illinois regained the lead in the top of the seventh, this time for good. Nieto struck again on a two out RBI single to left, and they added two big insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Stevie Ledesma (4-1) was terrific in relief. Tossing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless one hit relief and struck out nine to get the win. Joey Pulido (8) worked a perfect ninth to get the save. Tanner Driskill (0-1) took the loss after allowing a run on four hits over two innings of work.
The Crushers and Miners will continue their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday night. Right-hander Sam Curtis (3-1, 3.59) will get the start for the Crushers and the Miners will counter with righty Zac Westcott (10-3, 3.39). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.