Grizzlies thump Lake Erie; Betancourt launches first homer
SAUGET, Illinois – The Lake Erie Crushers stumbled against the Gateway Grizzlies in the middle game of the series as the Grizzlies secured their first series win against the Crushers this year.
The Crushers (24-24) have lost four straight, including the previous two at the hands of Gateway. The Grizzlies forced their hand on Lake Erie, gaining a nine-run advantage through the first five innings.
Scoring plays began in the bottom of the third. A couple of RBI singles off the lumber of Ty Moore and Andres Regnault had the Grizzlies off and running. Jay Prather hit into a fielder’s choice for the third and final run of the inning.
Those same three men would be responsible for a few more run-scoring hits in the next inning. An error by Lake Erie capped off the frame on a ball put in play by Chase Vallot to score a run. Gateway put up a five-spot in the fourth.
A Regnault sacrifice fly to center field paved the path for Dustin Woodcock to trot home for the hometown Grizzlies. Gateway had a 9-0 lead heading into the final four innings.
Lake Erie’s runs came from Javier Betancourt in the top of the sixth inning. Betancourt sent a grand slam clear of the fence to slash the deficit to five runs at 9-4. The home run is his first of the 2021 campaign.
The Grizzlies would hold onto that same score to finish off the ballgame. Jake Pilarski was the dealt the loss for the Crushers. He lasted 3 2/3 innings with eight total runs on eight hits. The winner was Gateway starter, Jorge Tavarez. Tavarez threw five scoreless innings of four-hit ball, striking out three batters along the way.
The finale between these two respective clubs will be Thursday night in Sauget. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:45 pm EST.