Crushers Rally Late to Beat Slammers
Lake Erie erases early 4-0 deficit to beat Joliet, 9-5
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers were down 4-0 after four innings on Wednesday morning at Mercy Health Stadium but used a pair of big innings to come from behind and beat the Joliet Slammers, 9-5.
With the victory, Lake Erie (24-29) scored their first series victory at home since sweeping Evansville on June 19, while the loss for Joliet (26-28) was their sixth in their last eight games.
Joliet was able to get on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Jay Alvarez retired the first two batters of the inning, he issued back-to-back walks to Matt McGarry and Brylie Ware, setting up a RBI single from Matt Burch.
The Slammers plated two more runs in the top of the third. Tyler Depreta-Johnson singled to start the inning and made his way to third on McGarry’s double. Ware brought Depreta-Johnson home on a RBI groundout before Burch brought McGarry home on a sacrifice fly.
Luke Mangieri smashed a solo homer to right in the top of the fourth inning to give the Slammers a 4-0 lead.
The Crushers began their comeback in the fifth inning, where they scored three times on three hits. Kenen Irizarry and Kemuel Thomas-Rivera started the inning with back-to-back singles and they both scored on Austin White’s double to the gap in left-center field. White scored two batters later on Elian Miranda’s RBI groundout.
Joliet scored one last run in the top of the seventh to take a 5-3 lead when Ware’s RBI groundout scored Kyle Jacobsen, before the Crusher offense blew up in the bottom of the inning.
Lake Erie sent all nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning and scored six times on five hits to take the lead. The rally started on Thomas-Rivera’s one out single to left. White followed with a single to center and Casey Combs’s brought Thomas-Rivera home on a base hit to left. Down to their final strike in the inning, Sean Cheely delivered a clutch, two out, two run double to left to score both White and Combs, giving Lake Erie a 6-5 lead. Later in the inning, Connor Owings delivered the back breaker, a three run homer to center, his 10th of the season to put Lake Erie in front, 9-5.
Paul Kasanovich (2-0) picked up the victory for Lake Erie, allowing just a run on two hits through two innings of relief, while Trevor Kuncl and Sam Curtis also tossed scoreless innings in relief. Cole Cook (6-4) took the loss for Joliet, after surrendering seven runs on eight hits through six and two-thirds.
Three Crushers hit safely multiple times. Owings went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 18 games in the process. Thomas-Rivera went 2-for-4 as well to extend his hitting streak to 10 games and White went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI.
The Crushers will finish their three game series with the Slammers at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night. Right-hander Matt Mulhearn (1-2, 3.46) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.