May 20, 2023
AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers earned their third series win in a row to begin the 2023 season after defeating the Florence Y’alls 6-3. It was another day at the office for the pitching staff, as they looked sharp and were complimented early by the offense.
The Grapes struck like lightning in the bottom of the first frame, putting up five runs and breaking the game open early.
After a leadoff walk issued to Kenen Irizarry, followed by a base hit from Santiago Chirino and a reach on an error for Brendan Dadson, Jack Harris stepped to the dish and roped a bases-clearing triple to the left-center field wall.
The Crushers were not done yet. Vincent Byrd Jr. was able to drive in Harris on a single, and Ellison Hanna II launched a solo shot over the wall with two outs, making it 5-0.
On the slab, Nathan Holt could not have been asked to do a better job in his first start of the 2023 season. He went 6.0 innings, allowing just two hits on one walk while fanning four.
The right-hander struck out the side in the first and retired seven men to begin the evening. After allowing a leadoff single in the sixth inning, Holt rolled a six-four-three pitcher’s best friend and got the next batter out on another ground ball to cap off a great night.
The Y’alls would finally get on the scoreboard in the seventh. After a one-out walk surrendered by Trevor Kuncl, Brian Fuentes was moved to second on a fielder’s choice and later touched home off an RBI base knock from Andres Rios.
Florence tacked on one more in the eighth. Sam Frontino issued back-to-back walks to start the frame, and after a double play, Cole Brennan stole home on a Jackie Robinson-type play to plate another run.
The Crushers scored their sixth and final run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jack Harris registered his third hit of the game with a two-out double. One batter later, Byrd Jr. picked up his second multi-RBI game in two nights, as he reached on another single which scored Harris.
JD Hammer was called upon in the ninth. After allowing a leadoff triple to Fuentes, the former Major Leaguer buckled down and retired the next three including a punchout to shut the door on the Y’alls.
The broomsticks are in effect for tomorrow. Lake Erie will close their nine-game homestand in the series finale and look for a sweep in another Sunday matinee, with the first pitch coming at 2:05 PM ET.