Crushers Sweep Otters
Lake Erie takes back-and-forth battler from Evansville
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers secured their first sweep of the season at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night, as they came from behind to take the series finale from the Evansville Otters, 5-4.
The victory for the Crushers (21-27) secured their first sweep of the season and was their sixth one-run victory of the year, while the loss for the Otters (26-21) marked the first time they’ve been swept this season.
Lake Erie was able to get on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Todd Isaacs Jr. stroked a double to left to begin the frame. Jack Harris’s fly out to right moved Isaacs to third and he scored on Jarrod Watkins’s RBI groundout.
Evansville responded quickly with a run to tie the game in the second, when Jomar Reyes blasted a solo homer over the wall in right, his third of the season.
The Otters took their first lead of the game in the top of the third. Bryan Rosario started the inning with a single before Angelo Baez retired the next two batters. Dakota Phillips brought Rosario home on a two out RBI single to center.
The Crushers answered in the bottom of the third. Harris started the inning with a double to the gap in left center. After Jhon Vargas retired the next two batters, Zach Racusin tied the game with a two out RBI double to left to score Harris.
Lake Erie took the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Josh Rego reached on a one out single and Drue Galassi followed with a walk. Isaacs was hit by pitch to load the bases and Harris brought in the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly to plate Rego. They added another run in bottom of the sixth. Galassi started the inning with a single and scored on Kemuel Thomas-Rivera’s sacrifice fly.
Evansville tied the game on a two out error in the top of the eighth. They had the bases loaded with two out when Darrien Ragins (4-1) came on in relief. After getting ahead 0-2, he induced a ground ball to second, but Thomas-Rivera’s errant throw to first base ended up in foul territory, allowing two runs to score and tie the game at 4-4.
Lake Erie plated the game winning run in the home half of the eighth. Harris reached on a fielder’s choice, and with two out in the inning, he stole second base. An errant throw from Evansville catcher Jake Green ended up in center field and Harris made his way to third. Moments later, he scored the game winning run on a wild pitch.
Ragins picked up the win for the Crushers, tossing an inning and a third while allowing no runs and no hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Kevin Davis (0-1) tossed two-thirds of the eighth inning and allowed an unearned run on one hit to take the loss. Perry Bewley tossed two scoreless innings in relief and Angelo Baez turned in a strong start, allowing a pair of runs on six hits with four strikeouts over five innings. Lake Erie pitching limited Evansville to just six runs on 15 hits over the three game set.
Isaacs paced the Lake Erie offense again. He went 3-for-4 and reached four times on the night. It capped a huge series for him where he hit safely seven times, giving him 10 hits on the homestand. Irizarry hit safely twice for Lake Erie, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Jackson Pritchard and Galassi also reached three times on the night.
The Crushers will hit the road on Friday and begin a three game series with the Schaumburg Boomers. Right-hander Yasel Santana (2-3, 3.22) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 PM.