Crushers send three long balls; Bullpen shuts down Slammers
JOLIET, Illinois – The Lake Erie Crushers continued their winning ways Tuesday night against the Slammers of Joliet. Finding offense was not an issue in the series opener. The Crushers (29-31) tallied double-digit hits for the third straight game.
Joliet (21-39) took advantage of a wild pitch with a runner on third base to start the scoring. A dropped third strike and a late tag applied to the runner heading towards first allowed the Slammers to score a pair in the opening inning.
The Crushers were masterful in responding tonight. The top of the second saw Lake Erie even the score at 2-2. Back-to-back doubles to lead off the frame allowed Connor Oliver to score off the lumber of Javier Betancourt. Steve Passatempo ripped an RBI single into left field two batters later.
After a one-out walk issued to Passatempo in the fourth, Steven Kraft nailed a triple into straightaway center, leading to Passatempo coming around to score.
Jordan Rathbone retaliated for the Slammers in the bottom of the fourth. He launched a homer to even the score at 3-3.
A leadoff base hit for Trevor Achenbach in the fifth was followed by an absolute bomb off the bat of Karl Ellison. The emphatic home run would turn out to be the go-ahead run when he crossed home plate on the two-run shot.
The 5-3 advantage for the Men of Crush was cut to the slimmest of margins following a solo blast by Terry Daniels.
The final two runs recorded by Lake Erie occurred in the top of the sixth. Passatempo went yard the opposite way, and Kraft smacked a solo shot to put the Crushers up 7-4.
Crusher ace Ryan Feierabend spent five innings on the mound. He surrendered four runs on only four hits. He added a half dozen strikeouts to his resume on the night. Feierabend claimed the victory and now beholds a 5-3 record.
The losing pitcher was Joliet starter, Logan Lyle. He slides to 0-2 this summer with the Slammers.
J.T. Perez retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to polish off his seventh save of the campaign and the Crushers’ third straight victory.
Lake Erie now leads the season series 4-3 over Joliet after the victory.
Game two of the series will get underway at 8:05 pm EST Wednesday. Southpaw Paul Hall Jr. will take the mound for Lake Erie. His counterpart in the middle game will be right-hander Chris Roycroft.