Tough Road Start
Crushers drop a tight road tilt to Tri-City
TROY, N.Y. — The Lake Erie Crushers took to the road for the first time this season on Tuesday night, and held a 7-5 lead through six innings, but could not hang on, falling to the Tri-City Valley Cats, 8-7.
Lake Erie (2-2) scored seven runs or more for the third game in a row, and the victory for the Valley Cats (3-1) came in their home opener.
The two teams combined to hit five homers on the evening, and the first was a solo shot from Jack Harris in the top of the second inning to give the Crushers a 1-0 lead.
Tri-City used the long ball to tie things up in the bottom of the third when Brantley Bell hit a solo shot to knot things up at 1-1. The Valley Cats took the lead five batters later when Willy Garcia ripped a three run homer to put the Valley Cats in front, 4-1.
Lake Erie was able to chip away at the lead in the top of the fourth inning when Ermindo Escobar ripped a run scoring double to plate Harris. Tri-City responded quickly with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth when Bell belted a RBI single to score Dennicher Carrasco.
The Crushers scored the next five runs to take a 7-5 lead. Jackson Valera kick started a four run top of the fifth inning with a RBI single to score Kenen Irizarry. Harris struck again moments later with his second homer of the night, and third in his last two games. It was a two run shot to center that tied the game at 5-5. Lake Erie took the lead later in the inning when Kokko Figueiredo stroked a run scoring double to left to score Jarrod Watkins. Lake Erie added one last run in the top of the sixth inning on Valera’s solo homer to right, his first of the season.
The Valley Cats began their comeback in the seventh inning when Bell scored on a wild pitch, and they tied the game later in the inning when Juan Silverio belted a RBI double to center. They took the lead for good in the eighth inning, when Jesus Lujano scored on a wild pitch.
Brac Warren (2-0) pitched two-thirds of the eighth inning and retired the only two batters he faced to score the victory. Trey Cochran-Gill (3) worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save. Merrick Crouse (0-1) took the loss in his Crusher debut, allowing three runs on three hits while fanning three batters in two innings of relief.
Harris and Valera paced the Crushers offensively, as they each turned in three hit performances. Harris went 3-for-4 and drove him three runs, giving him six hits, including three homers and 7 RBI over his last two games. Valera went 3-for-5 scoring twice and he drove in a pair of runs as well. Figueiredo also hit safely multiple times, going 2-for-4 with a run batted in.
With their three homers on Tuesday night, Lake Erie has now hit seven homers on the season, tied for third most in the Frontier League.
The Crushers and Valley Cats will continue their three game series on Wednesday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Right-hander Joseph Sgambelluri will start for the Crushers and the Valley Cats will counter with right-hander Matt Mercer. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.