Jun 05, 2024

Late Surge Powers Crushers to Double Digit Win Over Otters

Evansville, IN – The Evansville Otters (7-16) couldn’t stop the late push by the Lake Erie (14-9) bats on Wednesday as the Crushers evened the series with a 10-3 win. Lake Erie remains within 2.5 games of first place in the Frontier League West standings.

RHP Matt Mulhearn got the start for Lake Erie, and the Otters jumped on him quickly in the bottom of the 1st. 1B Anthony Calarco tapped a single through the right side to get Evansville on the board 1-0.

In the 2nd, SS Troy Hamilton, making his professional debut, launched an initial offering off the wall in center field, driving in the second run in as many innings for Evansville. Hamilton would come in to score on a grounder two batters later, giving the Otters an early 3-0 lead.

RF Jack Harris would get Lake Erie on the board in the top of the 4th with a clutch two-out RBI single to score 1B Scout Knotts, cutting the Otters lead to 3-1.

SS Jarrod Watkins would continue to chip away in the 5th with a sacrifice fly to put the score at 3-2.

The middle innings would involve Lake Erie and Evansville trading zeroes, with RHP Enrique Ozoa (fresh off the IL) relieving Mulhearn in the 6th inning. After a rough start to his outing, Mulhearn would settle in to finish five innings, giving up three runs on eight hits. Evansville’s Parker Brahms would go seven strong innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on just three hits while striking out six Crushers hitters. Perhaps the storyline of this game was Evansville’s decision to pull Brahms after just 87 pitches.

The Crushers, happy Brahms was chased from the game, would come alive in the top of the 8th. DH Alfredo Gonzalez would smack a liner into right field, sending the two men on base off to the races as it would scoot its way all the way to the wall. Scout Knotts would get on his horse and slide in just ahead of the throw home, and the Crushers would take a 4-3 lead – another clutch swing from the former big leaguer. The two RBIs would be Gonzalez’ 12th and 13th of the season, moving him into 3rd on the team.

Evansville would change pitchers the next batter, but 2B Ethan Skender would greet Jon Beymer with a 2-run homer to extend Lake Erie’s lead to 6-3. A huge four-spot in the 8th inning for the Crushers. Skender’s 3rd bomb of the season was his first since May 23rd against Windy City.

RHP Christian Scafidi would come in and keep all the momentum for Lake Erie, tossing a 1-2-3 inning to get the game to the 9th.

With a man on in the top of the 9th, C John Tuccillo smacked a ball deep into left field that snuck over the fence for a 2-run homer. More insurance for the Crushers as they now led 8-3. The big fly was Tuccillo’s first of the season and his fourth as a Crusher dating back to last season.

After Evansville reliever, Pat Miner, failed to record an out in the 9th, the Otters brought in Grif Hughes. Hughes promptly gave up an RBI bloop single to Scout Knotts, making the lead 9-3 Lake Erie. Knotts has logged a hit in 16 of his 21 games this season and has an RBI in 4 of his last 5 games (16 on the season).

Ethan Skender would display his speed tool, beating out an infield tweeter to drive in the 10th run of the game for Lake Erie, driving in Jarrod Watkins. Skender comes out of Wednesday’s game 9 for his last 26 at the plate (.346) dating back to May 29th.

It’s a 10-3 win for Lake Erie as Enrique Ozoa (2-0) gets the win in his first game since coming off the IL, and Evansville’s Leoni De La Cruz (0-2), who gave up the runs in the 8th, gets the loss.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Lake Erie Crushers 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 4 4 10 12 1
Evansville Otters 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 12 2


Ten unanswered Crushers runs (8 coming in the final two innings) would lead Lake Erie to a 10-3 victory and give them a chance to take the series on Thursday. Game time is set for 7:35pm EST. Anthony Escobar will try to lock down the series for Lake Erie, coming into the game with a 1-0 record and a 3.86 ERA.

Frontier League Standings: https://frontierleague.com/sports/bsb/2023-24/overall-standings

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