Gateway gashes Crushers in derby; Lake Erie smacks three straight homers
SAUGET, Illinois – The Lake Erie Crushers and Gateway Grizzlies kicked off a three-game series Tuesday night in style. The two teams needed to go the distance to figure out a winning team as the home run derby would settle the winner.
Lake Erie went to work early in the contest. Trevor Achenbach scored on a two-out double by Brody Wofford in the opening frame.
Shawon Dunston Jr. delivered a ground-rule double in the second inning that allowed Javier Betancourt to cross home safely to extend the Crusher advantage to 2-0.
Gateway’s Connor Owings demolished a three-run homer into straight away center field in the bottom of the second. The Grizzlies one-run lead would advance to two after former Crusher Dylan Jones hit a solo shot of his own.
The Crushers had a remarkable feat in the top of the third. Lake Erie sent three consecutive home runs in the frame, regaining the lead in the opener. Achenbach, Wofford, and Karl Ellison were the three men to do the trot around the bases.
Owings was not finished sending balls over the fence. His next plate appearance in the bottom of the fourth was his second homer on the night to even the score at 5-5.
Lake Erie starter Tyson Cronin allowed five runs on seven hits through four innings of work. His counterpart, Drew Clavenna, polished off five innings on the mound. He surrendered five runs on 11 hits.
Extra innings were necessary to decide a winner between the Crushers and Grizzlies. No runs were scored in the tenth inning, leading to a make-or-break home run derby.
The Crushers did not hit a homer in the derby on 20 pitches in total. Gateway notched five fence-clearers in the deciding derby.
The Grizzlies won the game in the derby after a 5-5 score through 10 innings.
Lake Erie slips to 24-23 and now sits 1.5 games back in the Central Division behind the Schaumburg Boomers.
Game two of the series is set to get underway at 7:45 pm EST Wednesday night.