August 06, 2023
JOLIET, IL – The Lake Erie Crushers have dropped 10 games in a row, as they were swept for the third straight series after falling to the Joliet Slammers 6-5. The Crushers (27-45) cannot seem to figure anything out as they made it a close contest with the Slammers (32-40) but have lost all but one of nine contests versus their divisional foe this year.
The Slammers jumped ahead in the bottom of the first inning on a Matthew Warkentin homer to left field. Lake Erie responded in the next half-frame. After a Scout Knotts double to lead things off, he was later brought in by a John Tuccillo sacrifice fly to even the game at one.
A couple of innings later, the momentum shifted back in favor of Joliet, when they scored a quartet of runs. The bases were juiced with one away and Lake Erie called for a pitching change.
It was then a bases-clearing triple followed by a single to break the tie game and give Joliet a big 5-1 advantage. The next two men were recorded outs, but the damage had been done.
The Crushers had an answer in the top of the fifth inning, but it wasn’t to the magnitude of the blow they had just endured.
Sam Frontino led off the inning with a walk, then Jiandido Tromp drove him in with an RBI double. Two batters later Todd Isaacs Jr. singled through the left side to score Tromp. That would be all Lake Erie could get, but they were back in the ballgame, down 5-3.
The offense wasn’t done, though. In the top of the seventh inning, the Crushers had runners on second and third with two away. Jack Harris was at the dish and nubbed a ground ball to the right side of the infield which he was able to beat out. Also on the play, Jiandido Tromp had good heads-up baserunning and scored from second base on the defensive mishap from the Slammers to tie the game.
The fun did not last for long as in the bottom of the frame Warkentin hit another mammoth shot over the left field wall to give Joliet the lead back at 6-5. It was the second homer for Warkentin of the afternoon, and that would be the difference for the Slammers to come away with the win.
Darrien Ragins (4-4) picked up the loss after blowing the lead in the seventh inning. Jared Liebelt (2-0) earned the win after coming into relief during the seventh frame. David Harrison (Sv. 2) slammed the door in the ninth to complete the Slammers’ sweep.
Harris and Zach Racusin had the only multi-hit games of the day for the team. Tromp and Frontino both had multi-run performances for Lake Erie.
The Crushers will head home after concluding their six-game road trip. They have tomorrow off before dueling against the Washington Wild Things, with the first pitch on Tuesday at 7:05 PM ET.