August 23, 2023
FLORENCE, KY – The Lake Erie Crushers were defeated by the Florence Y’alls tonight 12-4 after the pitching fell apart and the offense couldn’t keep pace with the opposition.
The Crushers (34-52) and Y’alls (35-51) are two teams battling to remain out of last place in the West Division of the Frontier League. After earning the win tonight, Florence is now back ahead of Lake Erie in the standings.
The Crushers jumped ahead in the opening frame. After a Kenen Irizarry walk, Josh Rego blasted a homer over the wall to make it 2-0.
The Y’alls fired back with more ammunition and scored in the first four innings of the game.
The big blow came in the fourth inning. Runners were on first and second thanks to a hit-by-pitch and walk, and after already having a 5-2 lead, Ray Zuberer launched a three-run home run to blow the game open.
Lake Erie responded in the top of the fifth inning, though. They scraped two more runs onto the scoreboard when Jarrod Watkins hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and then Kenen Irizarry walked with the bases loaded. The Crushers had an opportunity for more with just one away but left three guys on the base paths to end the inning.
The Y’alls tacked on another pair in both the sixth and seventh innings to solidify the fate of Lake Erie. Brennan Price had his 21st home run of the year in the process, coming in the sixth frame.
Lake Erie’s offense went quiet after the fifth inning – but it would’ve been a tall mountain to climb with the way the Y’alls were scoring left and right. Their only other baserunners of the night came on an error in the seventh when John Tuccillo reached first, but then was doubled up on a 6-3 roller to end the frame. Collin Mathews and Watkins walked in the ninth. Mathews was caught stealing second base and Watkins was left stranded.
Jonaiker Villalobos (2-5) didn’t have it tonight as the southpaw starter went just 3.1 innings allowing six runs on six hits. Four more arms came out of the Lake Erie pen, and all but Shane Gustafson gave up runs.
Evan Brabrand (4-10) took the win for the Y’alls tonight. The righty went 6.0 innings allowing all four runs (three earned) on a pair of hits.
The Crushers will be back in action tomorrow to finalize the series with the Y’alls, closing out their three-game road series. Lake Erie is looking for the second road series victory of the year tomorrow, with the first pitch at 6:34 PM ET.