The Crushers (10-7) took sole possession of first in the East with their game one win, but with their loss in game two they are back where they started at the beginning of the day one game back of first. While the Boomers (11-6) lock themselves into first place in the East with their game two win.
In game one, Alex Romero (2-0) started for Lake Erie. Romero earned the win after he had another impressive start. Romero threw 5.2 innings, gave up four hits, no runs, walked one and struck out five. Taylor Goshen (1-1) is creditied with the loss after he gave up eight runs, seven of them earned, off of 10 hits over 6.0 innings of work.
The Crushers offense scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Emmanuel Marrero hit a two-RBI home run for his fifth home run of the Summer to give the Crushers an early 2-0 lead. Sebastian Diaz jumped in on the fun with a home run of his own in the bottom of the third to make it 3-0.
But the scoring did not stop there. Lake Erie put up four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. That fourth inning rally started with a one out single from Zach Racusin. Steven Kraft then drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Jake Vieth then hit an RBI double to score Racusin. Bryan De La Rosa kept the offense rolling with an RBI single to score the second run of the inning. Diaz continued to contribute for the Crushers offense as he hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Vieth. James Davison hit in the final run of the inning with a two-out RBI single to make the score 7-0. Diaz would hit in the eighth run of the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
Pitching was terrific on both sides in the second half of the double header. Lake Erie lefty Jared Koenig was outstanding through 5.2 innings of work, allowing no runs on four hits while fanning seven batters along the way. Augie Gallardo retired all seven batters he faced and struck out three over 2.1 innings of relief.
On the other side, Schaumburg’s Erik Martinez struck out seven over 4.1 innings of work to start the game, while the combination of Dylan Stutsman, Jake Cousins (1-0) and Connor Eller (5) held the Crushers to just a hit over the final 4.2 innings of the game.
The Crushers had plenty of chances to score, but could not cash in, leaving nine men on base throughout the night. The leadoff batter reached in five consecutive innings for the Crushers, but they couldn’t scratch any runs across.
The Boomers scored the game’s lone run in the top of the ninth. It was originally scheduled to be a seven-inning contest, so when the game went into the ninth inning, the International tiebreaker rules went into effect, with the batter who made the last out in the previous inning, beginning the ninth inning on second base.
Jack Parenty was on third base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning when Clint Hardy stroked a run scoring double into the right field corner to bring home the game’s only run.
Cousins scored the victory for the Boomers after tossing 2.1 innings of perfect relief, while Eller scored the save by tossing a flawless ninth inning. Ivan Vieitez (2-2) took the loss after allowing an unearned run on one hit in his only inning of work.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Schaumburg Boomers at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Thursday night. Lefty Pat Ledet (1-0, 0.86) will get the start for the Crushers and the Boomers will counter with lefty Aaron Rozek (1-1, 2.65). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 10 teams operating throughout the Midwest. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.