Crushers hit into four double plays in 4-2 loss
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers hit into four inning ending double plays at Mercy Health Stadium on Friday night, as they dropped the series opener to the Washington Wild Things, 4-2.
The Crushers (35-53) have now lost five out of their last six games at home, while the the Wild Things (42-46) kept their slim playoff hopes alive with the victory.
Starting pitching stole the show for the first four innings as the two teams combined for just four hits in those four frames before the Wild Things scored three times on just one hit in the top of the fifth.
Back-to-back walks were issued to Robert Chayka and Melvin Novoa to start the inning. Darrien Ragins (4-5) struck out Wes Darville, but that ended his outing. He was replaced by Cal McAninch, who induced a weak ground ball that went about 10 feet in front of home plate off the bat of Tomas Sanchez. Crusher catcher Jackson Pritchard retrieved the ground ball but could not get back to the plate in time to tag out Chayka, giving the Wild Things a 1-0 lead. An errant throw to first on a pickoff attempt from McAninch allowed Novoa to score and Carson Clowers’s RBI groundout scored Sanchez.
Lake Erie scored their first in the bottom of the seventh. Jiandido Tromp started the inning with a single to center before stealing second and scoring on Jarrod Watkins’s RBI single to right.
Washington answered quickly in the top of the eighth, when Melvin Novoa drove Wagner Lagrange home on a RBI base it.
The Crushers made things interesting in the ninth. Jack Harris tripled to right to start the inning and Tromp drove him home on a RBI single to center. After Lukas Young (13) struck out Josh Rego, Hector Roa grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Ragins took the loss for the Crushers, after allowing two runs, on one hit while striking out six over 4.1 innings of work. Stephen Knapp (5-0) scored the win for Washington after allowing a run on five hits through 6.1 innings. Young picked up the save after preserving the lead in the ninth.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Wild Things at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday evening. Right-hander Matt Mulhearn (5-6, 4.10) will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.