Lake Erie leaves seven in scoring position in 5-4 loss
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AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers squandered a number of chances to score runs in their series opener against the Evansville Otters on Friday night, as they saw an early 4-0 lead erased in a 5-4 loss at Mercy Health Stadium.
The loss for Lake Erie (30-33) was their fourth in a row to Evansville (40-23) this season, while the Otters have now won nine out of their last 11 games.
Lake Erie stranded nine base runners on the night, and on three separate occasions, they had a man on third with nobody out and could not bring him home.
The Crushers benefitted from the first of four Evansville errors on the night to plate the game’s first run in the bottom of the first. Shawon Dunston Jr began the inning with a five pitch walk and stole second base. Dunston scored later on the inning after Steven Kraft reached on shortstop Andy DeJesus’s throwing error.
Lake Erie added three more in the bottom of the second. Connor Oliver began the inning with a solo homer to right, his sixth of the season. Steve Passatempo followed with a free pass and he came around to score along with Bryan DeLaRosa on a double to left off the bat of Javier Betancourt.
Evansville battled back with a trio of runs in the top of the fourth. J.R. Davis walked to start the inning and scored one pitch later on Riley Krane’s 12th homer of the season. Gary Mattis recorded a two out single, stole second and came home on DeJesus’s RBI single to right.
The Otters tied the game in the top of the sixth inning. Dakota Phillips belted a one out single and scored later in the inning on a two out RBI single from Andrew Penner.
Evansville took the lead in the top of the ninth. A lead off walk was issued to Miles Gordon who advanced to second on Elijah MacNamee’s single to left. Krane brought him home a few moments later on a RBI single to center for the eventual game winner.
Tyler Spring (5-0) picked up the win for the Otters, tossing two scoreless innings in relief while Logan Sawyer (17) worked a perfect ninth inning to snag the save. Aaron Glickstein (3-4) allowed a run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings of action and suffered the loss.
Eight out of the starting nine reached safely at least once for the Crushers, and seven Crushers drew at least one free pass. DeLaRosa extended his on base streak to eight games, while Isaac Benard has now reached safely in seven straight games. Oliver extended his on base streak to six games, and Passatempo’s on base streak now sits at seven games.
The Crushers and Otters will continue their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Tyson Cronin (2-4, 6.33) will start for the Crushers and the Otters will counter with lefty Marty Anderson (1-1, 2.49). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.