Lake Erie falls to Joliet, 5-3
Joliet, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers (41-41) coming off their best series performance with a sweep over the Schamburg Boomers. The Crushers inched closer to the wild card spot but the team that inched even closer was their opponent for the weekend, the Joliet Slammers (43-38).
The Slammers kept up their hot play with early offense and strong starting pitching. Joliet controlled the entire game as the Crushers bats didn’t make much noise until the ninth inning in the 5-3 loss
Joliet right out of the gates in the first inning. Brylie Ware belted a two run home run over the left field wall to give the Slammers a two run lead.
Lake Erie responded with a run of their own in the fifth inning. Recently acquired NaJee Gaskins executed a great bunt to the pitcher that scored Sean Cheely from third.
The Slammers added on to their lead in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Lane Baremore scored on a wild pitch, Ware for his third RBI, hit an infield single to second base, and Matt Burch topped off the three run inning with an RBI single to right field.
For Joliet, other than their offense, the team used a strong pitching performance to control the game. The starter Steve Moyers lasted five innings, allowed six hits, one run, one walk, and struck out two. Chandler Brierley followed the starter out of the bullpen in the sixth inning. Brierley lasted three innings, allowed zero runs on four hits, one walk, and struck out two.
The Crushers entered the final inning down four runs, needing a miracle for the series opener. The new pitcher for the Slammers was Caden O’Brien. Austin White tripled to right center, Cheely scored on the extra base hit. Bryan De La Rosa followed with an RBI sac-fly to left field, cutting the deficit to two. Jared Liebelt relieved O’Brien of his duties on the mound for the save opportunity. The closer recorded the final two outs and secured the 5-3 win for the Slammers.
The two teams will meet for the second game of the series on Saturday, August 20th, First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.