June 29, 2023
Box Score Link: https://www.frontierleague.com/sports/bsb/2022-23/boxscores/20230629_5e5k.xml
Paterson, NJ – Jackals 7, Crushers 6
The Lake Erie Crushers fell to the New Jersey Jackals via a walk-off home run for the second time in the series, with a final score of 7-6.
The Crushers (17-25) led in all three games heading into the last inning versus the Jackals (27-13), but only came away with one win as they blew the lead twice.
The scoring began in the bottom of the first inning when the Jackals notched one off an RBI double from James Nelson. New Jersey added on another pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-run blast from Alfredo Marte.
It was an early 3-0 lead that favored the opposition. It took Lake Erie six innings to get the bats going, but when it happened they struck for gold.
Jack Harris led off the frame with a double to right, and Jarrod Watkins then reached on an error. Kemuel Thomas-Rivera stepped to the dish next and got the Crushers on the board with an RBI single which scored Harris. The inning was far from over.
A Sean Cheely walk loaded the bases for Tyree Bradley who hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield to plate another run. Gabe Snyder flew out in the next at-bat but it was productive as he moved Thomas-Rivera 90 feet away from scoring. John Tuccillo kept the inning alive with an infield single down the third base line which came with an RBI and evened the game at three.
The cherry on top was thrown on just one batter later. Drue Galassi dug into the box and launched a three-run missile over the right field wall, giving the club a 6-3 lead.
The Lake Erie armor was cracked in the bottom of the seventh inning. After a one-out walk Thomas Bruss got a swinging strikeout but then issued a two-run shot out to dead center, trimming the Crushers’ lead to one.
In the ninth inning, Trevor Kuncl was called upon. With two outs he gave up a walk. Then one batter later Keon Barnum hit a two-run homer over the right-field wall to give the Jackals the series.
Kuncl (0-3) takes the loss as that was the second time in two days he allowed a walk-off home run. Lance Lusk (6-0) earned the win after shutting the Crushers’ offense down in the ninth inning.
News and Notes:
The Crushers will head back home and take on two more quality opponents in a six-game home stand beginning with the New York Boulders and closing with the Evansville Otters. The first pitch against New York will be thrown tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET, as Lake Erie looks to continue adding to the momentum.