Lake Erie falls to Gateway 11-2.
Sauget, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers (49-44) after losing the series to start the week, needed nothing less than a sweep to stay in the playoff race. For Gateway (44-49) a team already eliminated but building positive momentum to look back on going into the offseason.
Nothing went right for the Crushers, as one of their most underwhelming overall performances in the past two weeks occurred on Friday night. A good start for Lake Erie but eight runs in the first two innings behind a strong starting performance, propelled them over Lake Erie, 11-2.
Connor Owings started things right with a leadoff home run to right field in the first inning.
The Gateway Grizzlies used three innings to score all 11 of their runs on Friday night. In the first inning, six runs crossed the plate. Andrew Penner scored on a wild pitch. Jay Prather followed with a bases-loaded walk. To put a cherry on top of the six run first inning, a grand slam to left field by Ian Bibiloni. In the second inning, Gateway used two runs to add onto their lead. Kevin Krause with an RBI single to center field. It was another RBI single to center field, this time by Zach Racusin. Up seven runs already, it was all gas for the Grizzlies. The three run sixth inning started with a Racusin two run single to center field. Prather oncemore drove in a run, an RBI single up the middle to heighten the deficit to 10.
It was a strong pitching performance for the Gateway starter Brendan Feldman. He threw six innings, allowed one run on seven hits, one walk, and struck out seven.
Connor Owings in the seventh inning hit another home run for the Crushers, a solo home run to right field but that would be the only offense from the Crushers. Lake Erie saw their playoff hopes slip away in the 11-2 loss.
The second game between the two teams will take place on Saturday, September 3rd. First pitch is scheduled for 7:45 PM ET.