Three Crusher pitchers combine to toss four hit shutout
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers pitching trio of Matt Mulhearn, Nathan Holt and Alexis Rivero combined to toss a four hit shutout at Mercy Health Stadium on Friday night, as the Crushers defeated the Florence Y’alls, 2-0.
The victory for the Crushers (37-39) was their fifth in seven games against Florence this season, while the loss for the Y’alls (31-44) marked their second shutout loss of the year.
The starting pitchers for both teams performed very well. Matt Mulhearn (4-3), made his first start in 12 days and turned in one of his best performances of the season. He tossed seven and a third scoreless innings of work, allowed just four hits and struck out a season high, 10 batters to pick up the win.
Mulhearn’s counterpart, Bobby Braband (2-5) picked up the hard luck loss. He allowed just a run on six hits over seven innings and struck out seven batters.
Lake Erie plated the game’s first run on a double steal in the bottom of the third. Casey Combs was hit by a pitch to start the inning, and he made his way to third moments later on Sean Cheely’s single to center. With runners at the corners, the Crushers pulled off a double steal, as Cheely stole second and Combs scored on the throw down to second base.
The Crushers added a huge insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jackson Valera belted a one out double to left field and he came around to score on Kemuel Thomas-Rivera’s RBI single to center.
The Y’alls had chances to score in the final two innings, but the Lake Erie bullpen kept them off the board. Nathan Holt was able to maintain the lead in the top of the eighth when he inherited a situation with runners at the corners and one out, before Alexis Rivero (13) worked a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his third save in as many nights.
While pitching dominated the night, three Crushers hit safely multiple times. Valera, Cheely and Austin White all turned in two hit games for the Crushers, while Kokko Figueiredo drew a walk to extend his on base streak to 12 games.
Lake Erie and Florence will continue their three game series at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Jay Alvarez will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.