How SWEEP it is
Crushers sweep Freedom with a 9-2 victory
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, used a trio of homeruns on Thursday night at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium to sweep the Florence Freedom, winning the series finale, 9-2.
The Crushers (30-24) have now won four in a row, five of their last six, and finish their season series with a record of 7-2 against Florence. The Freedom (37-21) have now lost four in a row, which marks their longest losing streak of the season.
Offensively, the Crushers scored nine times on 11 hits, getting five of those from their leadoff hitter, Aaron Hill, who went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two singles and a solo homer.
Lake Erie fired the first shots in the bottom of the first inning to take a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo homers. Hill sparked the fire with his 10th homer of the year, and his fourth in nine games against the Freedom this season. Three batters later, Dale Burdick, who hit the walk off homer the night before, belted his fifth homerun of the season, sending it over the wall in left to give Lake Erie a 2-0 advantage.
The Crushers sent all nine batters to the plate and scored four times in the bottom of the fourth. Two out walks were issued to Brody Wofford and Steven Kraft, which set up Jake Vieth’s colossal three-run homer to center, which cleared the batter’s eye and was his ninth of the season. Three batters later, Hill struck again as he belted a RBI single to right to score Bryan DeLaRosa to give Lake Erie a 6-0 lead.
Florence plated a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, but could have done a lot more. Ricky Ramirez Jr. started the inning with a single, before Alex Romero (3-2) walked Ryan Rinsky and Austin Wobrock to load the bases. Romero then hit Connor Crane with a pitch to score Ramirez Jr., before Isaac Benard drove Rinsky home on a sacrifice fly out to bring the Freedom within four (6-2).
Lake Erie answered quickly in the home half of the fifth inning. Burdick and Wofford stroked back-to-back singles before Kraft walked to load the bases. Vieth followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Burdick to put Lake Erie ahead, 7-2.
Two more came across for the Crushers in the bottom of the eighth inning to remove any doubt. DeLaRosa started the inning with a walk and made his way to third on Hill’s double down the line in left. Emmanuel Marrero brought DeLaRosa home with a RBI groundout and Zach Racusin followed with a RBI single to bring home the game’s final run.
Romero took the win for the Crushers after allowing just a pair of runs on two hits while striking out six in six innings of work. Jack Maynard, Dalton Geekie and Logan Lombana all tossed scoreless innings of relief. Daniel Williams (3-2) took the loss for Florence after allowing seven runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings of work.
Hill and Burdick were the only Crushers to hit safely multiple times on the night, but eight out of the starting nine reached safely. Kraft and Racusin have both reached safely in 11 straight games.
The Crushers will begin a three game series with the Washington Wild Things at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Friday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.