Kines Shines in Lake Erie victory
Gunnar Kines sets Frontier League strikeout record in 2-1 win
AVON, Ohio — Lake Erie lefty Gunnar Kines became the Frontier League’s all-time leader in strikeouts on Friday night, as the Crushers continued their winning ways at home with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Wild Things at Mercy Health Stadium.
The Crushers (46-42) have now won seven in a row at home, and 12 of their last 15 games overall, while the loss for the Wild Things (56-32) was their fourth in their last five games.
Kines (4-6) needed just one strikeout to set the record, and he did that two batters into the game when he struck out Scotty Dubrule. The Crusher lefty struck out nine batters on the evening, and now owns the Frontier League record for career strikeouts with 532.
Runs were very tough to come by on the night, as the pitching was terrific for both teams. Kines tossed six scoreless innings and allowed just four hits to go along with those nine strikeouts to pick up the win. He out-dueled Washington’s Sandro Cabrera (7-4) who took the hard luck loss after allowing a run on five hits over seven innings of work.
After three scoreless innings, Lake Erie jumped on the board first in the bottom of the fourth. Jackson Valera smashed a one out double down the left field line and made his way to third on Austin White’s single. DJ Stewart brought Valera home moments later on a sacrifice fly to right.
Lake Erie added another run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh. White started the inning with a nine pitch walk and advanced to third on Stewart’s single to left. Kenen Irizarry scored White on a sacrifice fly to right to give the Crushers a 2-0 lead.
Washington made things interesting in the eighth. After Nathan Holt came on in relief of Kines and retired the first four batters he faced, he surrendered back-to-back one out singles to Dubrule and Tristan Peterson in the eighth. Holt was replaced by Sam Curtis who allowed a RBI single to Wagner Lagrange before retiring the next two batters to keep it a one run game.
Alexis Rivero (18) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save.
Valera paced Lake Erie offensively, going 2-for-3 on the night and delivered the game’s only extra base hit. White and Kemuel Thomas-Rivera both reached safely twice on the night as well.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Washington Wild Things at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Joseph Sgambelluri (9-5, 3.67) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.