AVON, Ohio – Lake Erie won a nail-biter in Marion, Illinois, against the Miners Saturday night. Another tremendous ballgame between the two clubs had to be settled in extra innings for the second straight night.
The scoreboard was lit for the first time when Trevor Achenbach ran home after a wild pitch from Southern Illinois starter Chase Cunningham.
Cunningham had a solid day with the ball in his hand. He pitched seven innings, allowed two runs on three hits, and recorded three strikeouts.
The Miners would snag their first lead of the night on an Ian Walters two-run double, bringing Luke Mangieri and Anthony Brocato home to take a 2-1 advantage.
Paul Hall Jr. went five innings for the Crushers. Four strikeouts and two runs on four hits detailed his night on the mound. Sam Curtis entered and pitched three and two-thirds innings. He accumulated the same stats that Hall Jr. had to his credit.
Fast forward to the top of the sixth inning. Brody Wofford knotted the score even with a single scoring Shawon Dunston Jr.
The even affair would not last too long as Southern Illinois regained the upper hand in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Walters struck with a ground-rule double, this time allowing Nolan Earley to touch home. Atlanta native, Nick Neville, contributed with a sacrifice fly to center field. Brocato was the beneficiary of the run-scored statistic.
Bryan De La Rosa delivered an RBI triple in the top of the eighth to put the Crushers down by one run. Lake Erie was not finished tallying runs in the inning. Wofford’s sacrifice fly to center field gave way to De La Rosa racing home to tie the game up at 4-4.
As the game entered extra innings, Connor Oliver was the man of the hour. He scorched a ball into the left-center field gap, giving him a stand-up triple. Steve Passatempo scored the go-ahead run for the Crushers.
An intense bottom of the tenth ensued with Paul Perez on the mound in his first appearance with the Crushers. With runners on the corners and the tying run 90 feet from home, Jared Mang sent a ball out of the park, but the ball landed only a couple of feet foul. Mang grounded out to Javier Betancourt to finish off the game.
Perez picked up the win with his clutch performance on the rubber in the late going. Kyle Hinton received the loss for the Miners.
Lake Erie snapped a six-game losing streak. The Crushers now sit at 2-7 in the standings. Southern Illinois moves to 3-6 on the season.
A rubber match is set between the two respected clubs on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm ET.