AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers (5-8) found the win Thursday night in the rubber match against the Gateway Grizzlies (5-8).
The series-deciding game was a low-scoring affair with minimal mistakes made for the duration of the contest. No runs were scored through the first three innings.
The bottom of the fourth inning is when Gateway struck for the first and only time on the night. Ty Moore reached home on a 4-3 putout off the bat of Andres Regnault.
That 1-0 advantage for the Grizzlies would dissipate in the top of the sixth inning. Following a double steal executed by Shawon Dunston Jr. and Steven Kraft, Karl Ellison managed an RBI single to score Dunston Jr. from third. A Trevor Achenbach sacrifice fly to center field allowed Kraft to score the go-ahead run.
Both starting pitchers went six innings for their respective clubs. The Crushers rolled with Robby Rowland on the bump. Gateway tossed Jordan Barrett on the mound for the finale.
Rowland offered a solid performance on the rubber. He allowed one run on eight hits, along with three strikeouts and two walks.
Barrett struck out seven Lake Erie batters while giving up two runs on five hits.
A couple of insurance runs were on tap in the top of the eighth inning for the Crushers offensively. A Kraft single helped Steve Passatempo score, followed by an Achenbach RBI base hit later in the inning.
Daniel Kight was awarded the save after finishing off the last inning against the Grizzlies.
The 4-1 lead accomplished by the Crushers would prove to be enough for the victory for the series win. Lake Erie has now won back-to-back series after starting the season 1-7. The Crushers have won four of their last five games.
Lake Erie returns home to Avon Friday night as the Joliet Slammers will be in town. The Crushers will play their next seven games at home at Mercy Health Stadium. The Southern Illinois Miners will make their second trip to Ohio to play a four-game set against the Crushers following the Joliet series.
The first pitch for Friday’s game versus the Slammers is set for 7:05.