May 29, 2024

Dixon’s Big Swing Propels Crushers to Series Win

Avon, Ohio – The Florence Y’alls (5-10) crushed the ball early, but late heroics propelled Lake Erie (11-6) past Florence, 6-4 on Wednesday. The Crushers take the series and will look for a sweep in the finale on Thursday. The win keeps them within .5 games of first place in the Frontier League West.

Both sides traded runs in the early innings, with the Y’alls coming out 2-1 over the Crushers after two frames.

In the bottom of the fifth, with the Crushers trailing by a run, DH Burle Dixon stepped up and delivered a two-run home run, his first of the year, putting Lake Erie ahead 3-2. Jarrod Watkins would also come around to score to complete the three run frame, the score 4-2 heading out of the 5th. Those runs would put Lake Erie starter, LHP Darrien Ragins, in line for his first win of the season.

Ragins went 5 IP, giving up 2 ER on 4 H, 2 BB, and 3 K. After the game, skipper Jared Lemieux revealed that he and pitching coach Jonathan Albaladejo debated whether to keep Ragins out for the 5th inning. Albaladejo insisted Ragins stay out on the mound, and Ragins tossed a 1-2-3 fifth inning – a good leave by the former big leaguer, now pitching coach.

Florence starter LHP Ryan Steckline was thrust into the opening role after Joe Kemlage was a late scratch for the Y’alls. Steckline would hold his own, tossing 4 innings of 1 run (unearned) baseball.

The Crushers would find another run from an RBI double off the bat of SS Jarrod Watkins in the 7th, bringing CF Sean Cheely in for the Crushers’ fifth run of the ballgame.

Crushers relief pitcher Sammy Tavarez would find himself in a bind in the 8th, leading 5-2. Tavarez allowed three hits, all singles, and walked two which resulted in two runs being added to the board for the Y’alls. Trevor Kuncl was called upon to face Y’alls 2B Langston Ginder with the bases loaded, two outs, and a 5-4 score. On the second pitch of the AB, Ginder flew out to left field, stranding the bases loaded.

In response, the Crushers brought one back in the bottom of the eighth inning. LF Ronald Washington reached base on catcher interference, with C John Tuccillo bringing him home on a sacrifice fly for a big insurance run.

The Crushers extended the lead to 6-4 with Kuncl coming back out for the 9th. Kuncl tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the win and log his fourth save of the season.

The Crushers and Yalls will face off in the finale on Thursday, May 29, at Crushers Stadium with the first pitch set for 6:35 p.m. EST. The Crushers will hand the ball to RHP Matt Mulhearn, looking for their second sweep of the 2024 campaign. It’s Thirsty Thursday! presented by Great Lake Brewing. Come out to the ballpark to enjoy half off Great Lakes products and stick around for karaoke after the game!

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Florence Y’alls 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 4 8 4
Lake Erie Crushers 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 1 X 6 10 0

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