June 13, 2023
TROY, NY – The Lake Erie Crushers were winners in Game 1 of a three-game-set versus the Tri-City ValleyCats in barnburner action, with a final score of 1-0. The Crushers (14-14) keep the momentum going as they have now won five of their last seven games and knock the ValleyCats (14-14) back down to .500.
The limited scoring provided an exciting pitcher’s duel as Yasel Santana of the Grapes squared up with Tri-City’s Elijah Gill.
Santana only found himself in trouble once. In the fourth frame, he began play with a walk. After getting the next two guys out he issued back-to-back free passes via a second walk of the inning and a hit-by-pitch. Santana buckled down though, and got Zach Biermann to fly out in foul territory ending the inning.
The ValleyCats loaded them up one more time in the seventh inning. Brayden Bonner led runners to second and third with two outs before Trevor Kuncl got the call. Kuncl came out of the pen and plunked the first batter he saw on one pitch, bringing a full house onto the bases.
After a 3-0 pitch that was ruled a strike much to the dismay of the entire Tri-City roster, Kuncl came back with two more strikes to fan Carson McCusker for the second time in the night and strand all three runners.
The difference came during the top of the fourth frame. Mike Blanke singled into left field with one away, and Jiandido Tromp walked to put runners at first and second.
With a good scoring opportunity for Lake Erie, Kemuel Thomas-Rivero hit a ground ball to third that was booted by Pavin Parks. The baseball traveled into shallow left field, allowing Mike Blanke to score on an unearned run for the only score of the night.
Sam Curtis came in for the bottom of the ninth and slammed the door on the ValleyCats by striking out two and getting the last man to fly out.
The men of Crush will be back on the slab tomorrow bright and early, as they tussle with Tri-City for the middle game of their series with the first pitch coming at 10 AM ET.