Krane’s grand slam late wipes away Lake Erie comeback
EVANSVILLE, Indiana – The weekend did not get off on the right foot for the Lake Erie Crushers. A night that witnessed the Crushers succeed on the scoreboard did not result in a win for the Grapest Show on Turf. Their opponent, the Evansville Otters, performs best when playing on home soil at Bosse Field.
A proficient start to the night on offense led to two runs for the Crushers in the opening frame. Karl Ellison was responsible for plating two on a double that saw Shawon Dunston Jr. and Trevor Achenbach score.
Evansville responded with a loud second inning at the dish. J.R. Davis smacked a double, resulting in Riley Krane crossing home plate. Later in the inning, with the bases full of Otters, Michael Gangwish cleared the bases with another double in the frame. Evansville entertained a 4-2 lead following the opening two innings.
Dillon Larsen made his first start of the season for Lake Erie in the opener. The Central Washington product lasted 2 1/3 innings, surrendering four runs on four hits. Six of the seven outs recorded by Larsen were strikeout victims.
A pair of runners came home to score in the fifth inning for the Otters. Andretty Cordero and Jose Pujols ripped RBI base hits to extend the Evansville lead to four after the opening five innings.
In the top half of the sixth, Connor Oliver pelted a two-run double that plated Isaac Benard and Achenbach. That sliced the deficit in half, putting the Crushers down by two.
Evansville responded swiftly in its portion of the sixth, adding four more runs. Krane smashed a grand slam to distance the Otters from Lake Erie. That is Krane’s second grand slam versus the Crushers in the previous three games between the two clubs.
Ryan O’Reilly made the start for the Otters in the opener. He spent 5 1/3 innings on the mound for Andy McCauley’s squad. Lake Erie got O’Reilly for four runs on six hits. The Crushers struck out six times against the right-handed pitcher.
Down 10-4, Lake Erie attempted to claw back in the seventh inning. A solo home run off the bat of Javier Betancourt got the comeback attempt started. For Betancourt, it was his second homer of the 2021 campaign. Dunston Jr. crossed home plate on a single by Benard. The Crushers pulled within four runs as the game hit the seventh-inning stretch.
The Otters 10-6 advantage would prevail and eventually be the final score to finish game one of the series. O’Reilly (4-2) receives the win after out-performing his counterpart Larsen (0-1).
Eight of the nine Crusher hitters tallied a hit in the contest. Dunston Jr. was the only Lake Erie batter to record two hits.
The loss knocks Lake Erie down to 32-37 for the season. Evansville continues to excel this summer. The Otters possess a win-loss record of 43-26.
The Crushers remain four games behind the Schaumburg Boomers following a Boomers loss facing the Gateway Grizzlies.
On Saturday, Lake Erie will send its ace, Ryan Feierabend, to the slab in the middle game. Evansville will counter with Austin Gossman.
The first pitch Saturday night is set for 7:35 pm EST.