Lake Erie splits Wednesdays twin bill with Gateway
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers split their double header with the Gateway Grizzlies on Wednesday night at Mercy Health Stadium, winning game one 9-5 before falling 3-2 in extra innings in game two.
The Crushers (23-20) saw a four game home winning streak snapped with the loss in the second game while the Grizzlies (17-27) snapped a three game slide on the road with the game two victory.
Gateway fired the first shot in game one, plating a run on three hits in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back base hits from Ty Moore and Abdiel Diaz started the inning, before Tyson Cronin (2-2) retired the next two batters. However, Jay Prather delivered a two out RBI single to right to score Moore, giving the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead.
Lake Erie answered with a handful of runs in the bottom of the second inning. They sent all nine batters to the plate and scored five times on three hits, scoring four of their runs with two outs.
Connor Oliver began the inning with a walk and came around to score on Javier Betancourt’s RBI single to right center. Gateway starting pitcher Drew Clavenna (2-2) retired the next two batters, before Shawon Dunston Jr. gave the Crushers the lead on a RBI single to left. Bryan DeLaRosa followed with a walk and Isaac Benard belted a RBI double to right. Trevor Achenbach followed with a two run single to left to complete the inning.
The Crushers added another in the bottom of the third when DeLaRosa walked with the bases loaded to score Oliver, giving the Crushers a 6-1 lead.
Lake Erie would get back-to-back solo homers from Achenbach and Brody Wofford in the fourth inning to increase their lead to 8-1, and then added one more in the bottom of the fifth on Benard’s two out RBI single.
Gateway inched closer on a two run homer form Dustin Woodcock in the fifth inning and they plated two more in the top of the seventh, but it was too late.
Cronin picked up the victory after allowing three runs on six hits while fanning seven batters over six innings of work. Clavenna took the loss after being tagged for eight runs on eight hits while walking six over four innings of work.
Dunston Jr., Benard and Achenbach led the way with three hits each, while Betancourt hit safely twice.
Lake Erie struck first, plating the game’s first run in the bottom of the second. Achenbach started the inning and reached on a throwing error. He made his way to third with one out, and scored on Karl Ellison’s sacrifice fly to right.
The Grizzlies struck for a pair in the top of the fourth inning to take the lead. Moore reached on an error to start the inning and came around to score along with Abdiel Diaz on a two out single from Jose Rosario.
The Crushers answered quickly, tying the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Benard began the inning with a single to right, which was Lake Erie’s first hit of the game. Achenbach followed with a single to right, putting Benard at third, and Karl Ellison drove him home later in the inning on a RBI single to center.
The game remained tied through seven innings, pushing it into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, with Carter Hayes on second base, Prather drove a single down the left field line to score Hayes, which was the eventual game winning run. In the bottom of the eighth, Dunston Jr. began the inning at second, and he made his way to third on Steven Kraft’s groundout. Benard then hit a ground ball to second, and Dunston Jr. was thrown out at home plate on the play. Achenbach flew out to right moments later to end the game.
Colton Easterwood (2-3) tossed two scoreless innings of no hit relief to score the victory while Geoff Bramblett (5) worked the eighth inning to get the save. Daniel Kight (1-2) took the loss after allowing an unearned run on two hits in the eighth.
Benard hit safely in both games, going 4-for-8 on the night and extended his hitting streak on nine games. Achenbach also went 4-for-8 in the twin bill, and extended his hitting streak to seven games. Oliver walked three times and scored two runs on the night and has now reached in nine consecutive games.
The Crushers and Grizzlies will finish their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night. Lefty Ryan Feierabend (3-2, 4.31) will start for the Crushers and the Grizzlies will counter with right-hander Sam Gardner (0-0, 7.83). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.