Crushers Smash Slammers
Early Offense propels Crushers in 10-2 win
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers scored six runs over the first two innings of Tuesday night’s game at Mercy Health Stadium and came away with a 10-2 victory in their series opener against the Joliet Slammers.
The Crushers (23-29) have now won three consecutive series openers, and the loss for the Slammers (26-27) was their fifth in their last seven games.
The Crusher offense went to work early, scoring three times on four hits in the bottom of the first inning. It all started on a one out single from Jackson Valera. Kenen Irizarry followed with a double down the line in right, and Kokko Figueiredo drove them both home on a two run single to center. Figueiredo came around to score later in the inning on Austin White’s single to left.
Lake Erie plated three more runs in the bottom of the second. Connor Owings started the inning with a single to right and advanced to second when Valera reached on a single. A wild pitch scored Owings before Figueiredo singled to left to score Valera. Kemuel Thomas-Rivera brought Irizarry home later in the inning on a RBI groundout.
The Slammers were able to get on the board in the top of the third, when Tyler Depreta-Johnson belted a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season.
The Crushers added two more in the bottom of the fourth inning. Figueiredo and Thomas-Rivera started the inning with back-to-back singles and they both came around to score on Casey Combs’s two out single to center.
Thomas-Rivera struck again for the Crushers with a RBI double in the fifth inning before Irizarry plated Lake Erie’s final run on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Gunnar Kines (1-1) turned in one of his best starts of the season, tossing five innings and allowed just a run on five hits while striking out six to score the victory. Cam Aufderheide (4-5) took the loss after surrendering six runs, four earned on eight hits through three innings of work.
Seven Crushers reached safely multiple times on the night. Owings, Irizarry and Figueiredo led the way, as they reached four times. Owings went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 17 games. Thomas-Rivera went 2-for-4 as well, and has now hit safely in nine straight games.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Slammers at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday morning. Jay Alvarez (3-3, 5.47) will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.