Crushers win series with a walk off single
Dale Burdick’s ninth inning single pushes Crushers past Otters
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, scored a series victory on Thursday night at Sprenger Stadium, as Dale Burdick belted a bases loaded RBI single to left in the bottom of the ninth to give the Crushers a 4-3 victory over the Evansville Otters.
The Crushers (37-30) have now won four straight series at home, and six out of their last seven series overall. The loss for the Otters (39-29) marked their second straight series loss on the road.
Starting pitching dominated the first seven innings of the contest. Both Pat Ledet of Lake Erie and Tyler Vail of Evansville, stole the show at the beginning of the contest until both offenses came alive in the final two innings.
Ledet tossed 7.1 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits while striking out seven, before he was relieved in the top of the eighth. Vail worked seven scoreless frames for the Otters, allowing just four hits and also fanned seven batters.
Lake Erie struck first, posting a trio of runs in the bottom of the eighth. The inning began with a walk issued to Aaron Hill. Emmanuel Marrero followed with a single to left, which advanced Hill to third. Marrero made his way to second on the play as well, advancing on a throw from right field to third base. With the infield drawn in, Zach Racusin delivered a two run single through the left side of the infield to plate Hill and Marrero, giving the Crushers a 2-0 lead. Racusin came home later in the inning on a two out RBI single from Jake Vieth.
Evansville responded with three runs in the top of the ninth. Jack Meggs plated the first run on a one out RBI double to the gap in right center field to score Mike Rizzitello. Tanner Wetrich followed with a single to put runners on second and third, and Hunter Cullen brought Meggs home on a RBI groundout. Dakota Phillips then tied the game with a pinch hit, RBI double to the right center gap which scored Wetrich.
Dre Hubbard started the bottom of the ninth inning with single through the left side of the infield and Aaron Hill followed with a single as well. After Cam Opp (2-1) struck out Marrero, he was replaced by Drew Beyer. Beyer walked Racusin to load the bases, and Dale Burdick followed with the game winning RBI single down the line in left.
Logan Lombana (1-2) picked up the victory, despite a tough outing. He allowed three runs on four hits in the ninth inning, but picked up his first win of the season. Augie Gallardo also pitched for the Crushers, retiring the only two batters he faced. Opp took the loss after allowing a run on three hits over an inning of work.
Marrero and Steven Kraft led the way for the Crushers with two hits each. Kraft has now reached in 24 consecutive games, and Brody Wofford reached on a walk in the seventh inning to extend his on base streak to nine games.
The Crushers will begin a three game series with the River City Rascals at Sprenger Stadium on Friday night. Lefty Jake Repavich (4-4, 4.94) will start for the Crushers. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.