Slammers Out-duel Crushers
Lake Erie limited to one run in 2-1 setback at home
AVON, Ohio — One night after dropping back-to-back one run games in a double header at home, the Lake Erie Crushers fell in their series opener to the Joliet Slammers, 2-1 on Friday night at Mercy Health Stadium.
The Crushers (10-15) have now lost three in a row, while the win for the Slammers (14-12) was their fifth straight.
Pitching was terrific for both teams all night long. Joseph Sgambelluri (3-1) kept the Crushers in the game by tossing six strong innings, allowing just a pair of runs on six hits while fanning eight batters.
Unfortunately for the Crushers, Joliet’s starting pitcher, Tanner Larkins (2-0) was even better. He tossed six scoreless innings of five hit ball and fanned four batters on the night.
The Slammers fired the first shot in the top of the fifth inning. Matt Burch walked to start the inning and advanced to second on Carson Maxwell’s single before making his way to third on a wild pitch. J.P. Fullerton drove him home a few moments later on a sacrifice fly.
Joliet added another run in the top of the sixth. Scott Holzwasser started the inning with a double to right field. Matt McGarry then hit a fly ball to center field that Rodney Tennie had a hard time seeing off the bat. The ball landed behind Tennie and went to the wall, which allowed Holzwasser to score easily from second. McGarry was eventually thrown out at home plate trying to make it an inside the park homerun.
The Crushers scored their only run in the bottom of the eighth. Tennie belted a single to center field with one out in the inning and got aggressive on the bases. He stole second, and then stole third. As he was stealing third, Fullterton’s throw in an attempt to catch Tennie ended up down the left field line, allowing the Crushers to score their only run of the night.
Larkins picked up the victory while Sgambelluri took his first loss of the season. Chris Roycroft (2) picked up the save, retiring the only two batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth.
Connor Owings led the Crushers offensively with a pair of base hits. Lake Erie had just six hits on the night, and none for extra bases. Tennie’s single in the eighth inning extended his on base streak to seven games, and he now has seven hits on the home stand.
The Crushers and Slammers will continue their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Julio Vivas (1-3, 3.54) is the projected starter for the Crushers. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.