June 28, 2023
Paterson, NJ – The Lake Erie Crushers split a doubleheader against a non-divisional foe in the New Jersey Jackals on Wednesday, June 18, 2023.
The Crushers (17-24) were able to bounce back and defeat the Jackals (26-13) after dropping the opener, although they had a chance to win both games. Still, they showed resilience in coming out hungry for the latter contest and were able to even up the series.
Game 1 – Jackals 8, Crushers 7:
The early game featured the Crushers falling behind early, then gaining the lead but giving it right back in walk-off fashion as the Jackals made a late comeback to steal the win.
Kyle Seebach issued a pair of solo blasts in the first inning which put New Jersey up 2-0. It was then Lake Erie to find a trio of runs in the top of the third frame.
After newly acquired Drew Galassi reached first via an error, Todd Isaacs Jr. singled up the middle with two away. Jack Harris stepped to the dish and launched his sixth home run of the season to dead center, which gave Lake Erie their first lead of the game.
In the bottom of the inning, a hit-by-pitch put Josh Rehwaldt on first base. After a single and a walk, the bases were loaded. Jordan Howard then hit a sacrifice fly to score another Jackal making it a 3-3 ballgame. Despite giving up the lead, Seebach stranded the bases loaded after having just one out.
The grapes regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Kemuel Thomas-Rivera reached first on a base hit to left field, and Tyree Bradley hit his first professional homer over the center field wall to plate two. They gave up another run on their next defensive stint but weren’t done with the bats yet.
In the sixth inning, the Crushers added their final two runs of the game. Jarrod Watkins doubled and Sean Lawlor blasted a home run out past center field. The Lake Erie lead was 7-4.
Over the next inning and a half, the Jackals stormed back. They got one in the bottom of the sixth inning, and with their last three chances, they made every opportunity count.
After a leadoff walk and a fielder’s choice, a two-run blast from Phillip Ervin gave New Jersey a new game with the score tied at seven. After another out and two away in the inning, Keon Barnum walked it off with a home run past the right field wall, giving the Jackals the win.
Trevor Kuncl took home the loss after blowing the save and giving up the home run in the last inning, and Yuichi Shiota walked away with the win.
Game 2 – Crushers 6, Jackals 3:
The Crushers came out for the nightcap and were destructive with the bats. They jumped on the board early with a three-spot in the opening frame.
After the first two men reached safely, Watkins knocked a base hit to the outfield, scoring Isaacs Jr. after the left-fielder committed an error. Thomas-Rivera then delivered an RBI single to score Harris. Lawlor came up next and grounded into a double play, but plated another run, making it 3-0.
The Crushers got one more in the next inning but gave two back in the bottom of the third when JD Hammer gave up a two-run shot to slice the lead in half. He gave up another homer in the next inning, this time a solo blast that trimmed the Lake Erie lead to one.
The offense gave Hammer some additional help in the top of the sixth frame. After Bradley reached on a single that trickled into right field, Galassi launched an opposite-field home run past the left field wall in his debut with the club to give Lake Erie a 6-3 lead.
That would be all the scoring from either team, as the Crushers were able to hold on and take home the win. The loss belongs to Dylan Castaneda, who allowed six runs in as many innings on seven hits.
Hammer gave the Crushers another respectable outing, picking up the win after going 5.0 innings allowing three runs on five hits. Ragins came in and picked up his first save of the season after not allowing a run in the last two innings.
News and Notes:
JD Hammer picked up his second win in back-to-back starts for the Crushers.
The five home runs across two games in the most for Lake Erie this season.
The Crushers have a chance to take the series tomorrow as they battle with the Jackals one final time before heading back to the shores of Lake Erie for another six-game home series. The first pitch is at 6:35 PM ET as the grapes look to get one step closer to .500 with a win against a quality opponent