Crushers leave six in scoring position in 4-3 loss
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, left seven men on base, including six in scoring position, as they fell to the River City Rascals, 4-3 on Friday night at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium.
The Crushers (37-31) have now lost four out of their last six games, while the Rascals (39-32) have now defeated the Crushers five times in seven meetings this season.
River City fired the first shot, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Kameron Esthay reached on a fielder’s choice before advancing to second on a walk issued to Braxton Martinez. Nolan Meadows followed with a two out RBI single to right, scoring Esthay to give the Rascals a 1-0 lead.
Lake Erie was able to respond with a trio of runs to take a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second. The inning began with a walk issued to Dale Burdick. Steven Kraft then singled, moving Burdick to third. Kraft stole second base and Jake Vieth followed with a two run double to the gap in right center field. Vieth came around to score the final run of the inning on Dre Hubbard’s RBI single to left.
The Rascals tied the game two innings later, plating two runs in the top of the fourth. Four straight singles started the inning. Martinez reached on a single to left, before Meadows and James Morisano put together back-to-back bunt base hits to load the bases. Zach Lavy followed with a RBI single to center, scoring Martinez. Nick Anderson followed with Sac Fly RBI to score Meadows, tying the game at 3-3.
Former Crusher L.J. Kalawaia came through with the eventual game winning hit for the Rascals in the top of the eighth inning. Kent Hasler (5-3) retired the first two batters of the inning before walking Anderson on five pitches. Anderson stole second, then scored moments later on Kalawaia’s RBI single to right.
Yeison Medina (5-3) picked up the victory for River City. He allowed four hits in two scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen. Jason Zgardowski (9) worked a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save. Hasler took the loss after allowing just a run on one hit over 2.1 innings of work.
Kraft and Hubbard led the way for the Crushers with two hits each. Kraft went 2-for-2 and has now reached safely in 25 consecutive games. Hubbard went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, and Brody Wofford singled in the sixth inning to extend his on base streak to 10 games.
The Crushers will continue their three game series with the River City Rascals at Sprenger Stadium on Saturday night. Lefty Paul Hall Jr. (1-0, 2.30) will start for the Crushers and former Cleveland Indians outfielder Coco Crisp is expected to be in the starting lineup. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.