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Big third inning lifts Crushers in 8-3 win over Boomers
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers used a seven run third inning and quality pitching to complete a sweep of the Schaumburg Boomers at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night, as they won the series finale, 8-3.
The sweep for the Crushers (41-40) was their fifth this season, and puts them over .500 for the first time since May 29, while the loss the Boomers (43-38) marks the third time they’ve been swept this season.
Schaumburg plated the game’s first run after capitalizing on a pair of errors in the top of the third. Chase Dawson reached on a fielding error by second baseman Kemuel Thomas-Rivera to start the inning. Later in the inning, on Blake Berry’s groundout to third, Dawson came around to score on a throwing error by first baseman Jackson Valera.
Lake Erie sent 11 batters to the plate and scored seven runs on five hits in the bottom of the third to take a 7-1 lead. Kokko Figueiredo was hit by a pitch to start the inning and he came around to score on Bryan DeLaRosa’s two run homer to left, his second of the season. Najee Gaskins walked and Connor Owings followed with a base hit before Jumpei Akanuma (4-1) recorded the first out of the inning.
With two one and one out, Kenen Irizarry belted a two run single up the middle to score Gaskins and Owings. Thomas-Rivera followed with a single before Austin White walked. After the walk to White, Akanuma left the game with an undisclosed injury. DJ Stewart was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring Irizarry home and Figueiredo capped the big inning with a two run single to right.
Lake Erie added another run in the bottom of the seventh on White’s two out RBI single to center to score Irizarry. The Boomers plated a run in the fourth when Brett Milazzo reached on a fielder’s choice to score Clint Hardy and they scored their final run in the seventh on a solo homer from Mike Hart.
Matt Mulhearn (5-3) picked up the win for the Crushers, as he delivered seven strong innings and allowed three runs, two earned on six hits with six strikeouts. Trevor Kuncl and Gleyvin Pineda both tossed scoreless innings of relief. Akanuma took the loss after surrendering seven runs on four hits over two and a third innings of work.
The victory finishes a six game homestand for the Crushers where they went 5-1, scoring 27 runs on 48 hits including 14 for extra bases. The pitching was terrific during the homestand as well, as the staff posted a team ERA of 2.50. They allowed 16 runs, only 15 earned during that stretch on 35 hits while striking out 64 batters.
Irizarry led the way for Lake Erie offensively, going 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and a RBI. He finished the series 5-for-12 and drove in five runs. Figueiredo reached twice and extended his on base streak to 15 games, while DeLaRosa’s homer in the third extended his hitting streak to six games and his on base streak to seven.
The Crushers will hit the road on Friday night to begin a three game series with the Joliet Slammers. Right-hander Jay Alvarez will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM.