Crushers Slam Joliet in Series Opener
Solo shots and pitching pace Crushers in 4-2 win
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, used a trio of solo homers and a terrific team pitching performance to take the opening game of their series against Joliet, in a 4-2 victory over the Slammers on Friday night at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium.
The win for the Crushers (11-8) improves their record to 6-1 in series openers this season, while the Slammers (5-14) have now dropped 10 out of their last 11 games.
The Crushers fired the first shot in the bottom of the first inning, as James Davison sent Daren Osby’s first pitch of the ballgame over the wall in right field, for his third homer of the season to give the Crushers a 1-0 lead.
Joliet answered in the top of the third. Chaz Meadows started the inning with a single to center. Two batters later, Brian Parreira belted a single to right to move Meadows to third. Riley Krane then reached on Aaron Hill’s error at second, which allowed Meadows to score. The Slammers eventually loaded the bases before Dylan Mouzakes induced an inning ending 6-3 double play.
Lake Erie used the long ball again in the bottom of the fourth inning to regain the lead. Dale Burdick led the inning off with a solo homer to right, his second of the season, giving the Crushers a 2-1 advantage.
In the seventh, the Slammers would tie the game again. Former Crusher L.J. Kalawaia started the inning with a double down the line in left, and London Lindley laid a sacrifice bunt down to move him to third. Chaz Meadows then drove Kalawaia home on a single to left.
As they had done twice already, the Crushers would use another solo homer to regain the lead. With the bases empty and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Jake Vieth hit a solo homer to right, smashing off the scoreboard to give the Crushers a 3-2 lead.
The Crushers added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Davison started the inning with a single to right. A few moments later, on Davison’s attempt to steal second, Hill was called out at home plate on batter’s interference. Lake Erie manager Cam Roth debated the call, and was ejected. Davidson would eventually steal second again, then advanced to third on a single from Emmanuel Marrero, before scoring on Burdick’s groundout.
Jake Repavich (1-1) worked a scoreless inning in relief, allowing just a hit and struck out a batter as well. Seth Lucio (4) tossed a perfect ninth inning to score the save. Isaac Sanchez (0-4) took the loss after allowing a run on a hit in one inning of relief. Mouzakes made a strong start for the Crushers, allowing just a run on four hits while fanning five batters over six innings.
Davison paced the Crushers offensively, going 3-for-4 and was the only Crusher to hit safely multiple times. He has now reached safely in 11 consecutive games. Zach Racusin went 0-for-3 and saw his 11 game hitting streak come to an end.
The Crushers continue their three game series with the Joliet Slammers at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Saturday evening. Righty Greyfer Eregua (0-1, 5.17) will take the mound for the Crushers and the Slammers will counter with righty Scot Hoffman (2-0, 1.67). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.