AVON, Ohio – The Crushers opened up a three-game set with a win against the Gateway Grizzlies Tuesday night.
An offensive explosion from the visiting Crushers propelled them to the victory.
Jay Prather opened the scoring for Gateway in the bottom of the first inning on a solo home run.
The third inning was the first time Lake Erie had a runner cross home plate. Steven Kraft paved the path for Steve Passatempo to score with an RBI single.
Sebastian Kessay pitched three and two-thirds innings as the starter for Gateway. His six strikeouts paired with one run on four hits was a decent performance in the short-lengthed start.
Axel Johnson gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead on a single that scored Prather in the bottom of the third.
Run support came for the Crushers in the fifth inning. A double off the bat of Shawon Dunston Jr. allowed Javier Betancourt to score from second base. Two batters later, Connor Oliver smacked a ground-rule double, scoring Dunston Jr. Brody Wofford got in on the action with a single, as Oliver was able to touch home. The Crushers beheld a 4-2 lead after the half-inning.
Gateway did not allow Lake Erie to gain control of the game. Chase Vallot brought Prather home on a single. To tie the ballgame, Johnson grounded out; however, Ty Moore dashed home to even the score at 4-4 after five innings.
Lake Erie starter Tyson Cronin allowed four runs on seven hits while striking out five. Those numbers were through five innings of work.
The Grizzlies gained the advantage in the bottom of the sixth by adding a pair. Abdiel Diaz scored Jose Rosario on a single, taking the lead. An insurance run was added off the lumber of Moore. Dustin Woodcock reached home safely on Moore’s single.
The Crushers stormed back and then some in the top of the seventh inning. Trevor Achenbach delivered a two-run homer to tie the score at 6-6. Lake Erie would not look back. A Bryan De La Rosa double gave way to Wofford scoring. De La Rosa eventually tallied a run statistic on a hit by Betancourt. The Crushers added two more runs from two errors committed by the Grizzlies. To polish off the seven-run inning for Lake Erie, Oliver launched a ball over the fence.
The 11-6 lead for the Crushers would hold the rest of the distance.
Taylor Sugg was assigned the win. Two runs on five hits and three strikeouts over two innings were his stats on the night.
Cody Thompson received the loss in a massive struggle during the seventh inning. In two-thirds of an inning, Thompson allowed seven runs (four earned), six hits, and a single strikeout.
The Crushers have won three straight games to excel to 4-7. The loss for the Grizzlies drops them to 4-7 overall.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:45 pm ET.