Crushers use the long ball in 6-3 victory to clinch series
JOLIET, Illinois – The Lake Erie Crushers found themselves in a rubber match against the Joliet Slammers Thursday night, and the Men of Crush prevailed. Lake Erie legged out to an early lead and would not let it be confiscated.
The top of the first inning treated the Crushers kindly. After a pitch hit Steven Kraft, Connor Oliver destroyed a two-run homer over the wall in right field. Karl Ellison smacked an RBI double over the head of Joliet center fielder Dylan Hardy to score Trevor Achenbach.
The score remained 3-0 Crushers until the top of the fourth. Eric Callahan crunched his second home run of the season off newly acquired pitcher Tom Walker. Lake Erie saw its advantage grow to four runs.
Another Ellison base hit allowed Achenbach to safely reach home as the Crushers dominated the ballgame halfway through.
Joliet scored a pair in the bottom of the seventh, but the Crushers were right back on the scoreboard in the eighth inning. Steve Passatempo launched his second homer of the series, sending a no-doubter over the left-center field wall.
The Slammers tacked on one more run in the home half of the eighth, but that was all the Joliet squad could manage. Lake Erie finished off the Slammers for its second consecutive series victory.
Jake Pilarski threw an absolute gem of a game. Six innings of two-hit ball on the mound accompanied by seven strikeouts propelled Lake Erie in the finale. He ousted his counterpart Brett Smith to improve to 2-2 on the season.
The Crushers return home to Mercy Health Stadium in Avon to open a three-game set Friday night versus the Evansville Otters. Sam Curtis will make his second start of the season. His first start saw him throw six hitless innings in a contest against the Florence Y’Alls.
The first pitch is scheduled to be tossed at 7:05 pm EST.