Back-and-forth affair leads to Crushers third straight series loss
EVANSVILLE, Indiana – The Lake Erie Crushers fell at the hands of the Evansville Otters 8-6 Sunday. For the Crushers, they have lost their previous three series.
Both teams splashed early in the run department. In the first inning, Trevor Achenbach grounded into a double play to score Shawon Dunston Jr. from third base. In the bottom portion of the frame, Andy DeJesus stole home on a pitch thrown by Lake Erie starter Paul Hall Jr. After an inning, the score was even at 1-1.
The Crushers snagged the lead in the third inning off an Achenbach double, guiding Steven Kraft home to score. Later in the inning, Achenbach scooted home on a wild pitch from Tim Holdgrafer.
Lake Erie’s two-run advantage would vanish minutes later in the Evansville half of the inning. Riley Krane delivered a double, sending DeJesus around to score. A bases-loaded walk tied the game at 3-3 as the rubber match hit the middle innings.
The Crushers found themselves in a sticky scenario in the bottom of the fourth inning on defense. Evansville cashed in four runs to get ahead for the first time in the contest. A Gary Mattis triple, a double off the bat of Elijah MacNamee, and a J.R. Davis home run resulted in the four spot on the scoreboard.
Hall Jr. was pulled during the troublesome fourth inning. His final line read as 3 1/3 innings matched with seven runs on nine hits. He struck out two Evansville hitters and handed out two free passes.
Karl Ellison smashed his fifth homer of the campaign to initiate the sixth inning. Following the Ellison solo blast, Connor Oliver brought Eric Callahan home safely on an RBI single. Lake Erie trailed 7-5 after the sixth.
Holdgrafer was yanked while working the sixth inning. He spent 5 2/3 innings on the mound, giving up five runs on eight hits. Holdgrafer had a half dozen punchouts.
Miles Gordon hit a bases-loaded single to tally another run for the home Otters. Evansville entertained a three-run lead with two innings remaining in the matinee.
Oliver continues to rip apart opposing pitching. He racked up his second run batted in during the top of the eighth. Dunston Jr. trotted home from third base on a single from Oliver.
Evansville finished the Crushers off in the final inning to secure the game and series win. Lake Erie now owns a record of 33-38.
Hall Jr. (2-6) was addressed the loss, while Holdgrafer (6-3) received the win. Logan Sawyer entered the game to record the final three outs. He now has 19 saves associated with his name for the year.
Kraft, Oliver, and Ellison all recorded multi-hit games. Jose Fuentes, Anthony DeFrancesco, and Taylor Sugg were called upon out of the bullpen to make relief appearances.
Lake Erie will play a doubleheader in Washington against the Wild Things on Wednesday at 5:05 pm EST.