Crushers Out-duel Otters
Great pitching paces Crushers in 3-2 win over Evansville
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers received great pitching performances from Gunnar Kines and Alexis Rivero at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday night, as they came away with a 3-2 win over the Evansville Otters.
Lake Erie (33-35) has now won six out of their last eight at home, while the loss for Evansville (38-29) was their fourth in five games in Avon this season.
An Evansville throwing error allowed Lake Erie to take an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Connor Owings started the frame with a single to right field. A wild pitch put Owings on second base before Kemuel Thomas-Rivera walked. The Crushers called for a double steal, and Evansville catcher Justin Felix’s throw down to third base ended up in left field, allowing Owings to score.
Lake Erie added two more in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kokko Figueiredo started the inning with a six pitch walk, and made his way to third on Kenen Irizarry’s double. Austin White was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Sean Cheely who drove Figueiredo in with a sacrifice fly to right. Bryan DeLaRosa followed with a walk to load the bases again for Jake Gitter, who brought in the next run with a sacrifice fly to plate Irizarry.
Gunnar Kines (3-3) kept the Otters off the board for the first five innings, until Zach Biermann belted a solo homer in left in the top of the sixth inning to plate Evansville’s first run.
In the eighth, Biermann began the inning with a double to left and came around to score on J.R. Davis’s single to left. Walks were issued to Steven Sensley and Miles Gordon to load the bases and Alexis Rivero (10) was summoned out of the bullpen. He recorded two outs on two pitches to end the inning.
The Otters threatened again in the ninth. Elijah MacNamee reached on a one out single and made his way to third on Biermann’s single. Rivero retired Jeffrey Baez on a fly out, before Davis hit a sharp ground ball to Owings at third. Owings made a terrific diving stop and threw Davis out at first base to end the game.
Kines picked up the win after allowing just a run on six hits while striking out eight batters over seven strong innings. Rivero scored the save after tossing an inning and two-thirds of scoreless relief. Evansville’s Brett Adcock (4-4) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits through six and two-thirds.
On a night where hits were tough to come by, Owings led the way going 2-for-5 and has now reached in seven straight games. Irizarry went 1-for-3 and reached two times to extend his on base streak to eight games.
The Crushers will finish their series with the Otters at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night. Right-hander Joseph Sgambelluri (6-4, 3.26) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.