Tough Home Tilt
Crushers held in check in 9-2 loss to Gateway
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers were limited to just four hits on Wednesday afternoon at Mercy Health Stadium, as they dropped their second straight contest to the Gateway Grizzlies, falling by the final of 9-2.
The loss for the Crushers (8-9) marks the first time that they’ve fallen below the .500-mark this season, while the victory for the Grizzlies (13-4) was their seventh straight.
There were a total of four homers hit on the afternoon, three courtesy of Gateway. Their first was a solo shot from Peter Zimmerman in the top of the second to begin the inning and it was his eighth of the season.
Lake Erie answered quickly in the bottom of the inning, as Sicnarf Loopstok belted a solo shot to left, his first of the year to tie the game at 1-1.
Former Crusher DJ Stewart had a huge day at the dish for Gateway, as he homered twice and drove in six of Gateway’s nine runs. His first homer was a solo shot to left in the top of the fifth inning to give Gateway a 2-1 lead. Stewart struck again with two outs in the top of the eighth, as he smashed his second homer of the day, a three run shot to left put the Grizzlies on top, 5-1.
The Crushers had a chance to make up some ground in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Gateway’s starting pitcher Collin Sullivan (3-0) had retired 13 straight batters, Ellison Hanna belted a one out single to right. An errant throw allowed Jack Harris to reach and Jiandido Tromp walked to load the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate. Santiago Chirino brought Hanna home on a sacrifice fly, but that was all the Crushers could push across in the inning.
Gateway responded with a four run ninth inning to remove any doubt. Zimmerman and Andrew Penner stroked back-to-back RBI singles before Stewart came through yet again, this time with a two run double to right to bring in the final runs of the game.
Sullivan picked up the win for Gateway, allowing just a pair of runs on four hits and struck out seven over 7.1 innings of work. Angelo Baez (3-1) took the hard luck loss, after surrendering two runs on five hits and struck out five over six innings.
The Crushers will finish their series with the Grizzlies at Mercy Health Stadium on Thursday night. Right-hander Yasel Santana (0-0, 1.69) will get the start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.