Long and Strong
First inning homers push Crushers past Grizzlies
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, used a pair of first inning homers and another night of strong pitching performances to push past the Gateway Grizzlies at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Wednesday night, as they won the third game of the series, 4-3.
The victory the Crushers (42-37) was their fourth in their last six games, and was their fifth in their last seven at home, while the loss for the Grizzlies (32-48) was their eighth in their last 11 games.
A pair of homers allowed the Crushers to take an early advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Emmanuel Marrero started the rally with a single to center, which began a string of four consecutive hits. On the very next pitch, Logan Farrar belted his first homer of the season, a tape measure shot that soared over the wall in right field. Dale Burdick followed by winning a 10 pitch battle with Dominic Topoozian (5-6) with a solo shot to left, his 11th of the season.
Gateway responded with a run in the top of the second. Shawn Dunston Jr. began the inning with a walk. He reached second on an errant pickoff attempt before stealing third. Cletis Avery brought him home a few moments later with a RBI single to left.
The Grizzlies used the long ball to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Brent Sakurai reached on a one out single to right, and came around to score on a two run homer from Connor Owings, his eighth of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
Lake Erie used a pair of extra base hits to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Topoozian retired 14 consecutive hitters until Marrero belted his second hit of the game, a leadoff double to right. Two batters later, Burdick brought him home with a double off the wall in left field to give the Crushers the lead for good.
Jake Repavich (5-5) picked up the victory for the Crushers after surrendering three runs on eight hits while fanning five batters over seven innings of work. Seth Lucio worked a perfect eighth inning, and Dalton Geekie (2) did the same in the ninth to score save. Topoozian took the loss for Gateway after allowing four runs on six hits over seven innings of work.
Marrero, Farrar and Burdick paced the Lake Erie offense with two hits apiece, as they each went 2-for-4 on the night. Marrero has now reached safely in nine straight games. In addition, he’s hitting .652 (15-for-23) on the current home stand, and has hit safely multiple times in all six of those games.
The Crushers will finish their four game series with the Gateway Grizzles at Sprenger Stadium on Thursday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.