Undone in the Eighth
Crushers drop series opener to Sussex County
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers were held to just five hits on Tuesday evening at Mercy Health Stadium and allowed four runs in the eighth inning as they dropped their series opener to the Sussex County Miners, 5-1.
The loss for the Crushers (9-13) was their fifth straight at home, and their sixth in their last seven games overall, while the win for the Miners (14-6) was their third in four games against the Crushers this season.
Starting pitching was excellent for both teams. Angelo Baez (3-2) was outstanding through seven innings, before running into trouble in the eighth. He retired nine in a row to start his outing and produced five 1-2-3 innings. For the Miners, Mark Moclair (1-0) was outstanding as well, as he held Lake Erie to just a run on four hits while fanning eight over seven innings.
The Miners took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Jawaun Harris singled to left to start the inning. He then stole second base and advanced to third on a fly out, then scored the game’s first run on Abraham Mow’s sacrifice fly.
Lake Erie tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Jarrod Watkins stroked a one out double down the line in left field, before Gabe Snyder walked. Jack Harris then reached on a fielder’s choice. Moclair’s errant throw to second base on the play loaded the bases to Jiandido Tromp, who also reached on a fielder’s choice which allowed Watkins to score.
Sussex County sent all nine batters to the plate in the top of the eighth inning, and scored four times on four hits while capitalizing on an error to pull away. Oraj Anu doubled to start the inning and scored the go ahead run on Willie Escala’s single to right. Edwin Mateo reached on a bunt base hit and Will Zimmerman walked to load the bases. Gavin Stupienski reached on Watkins’s error at second which allowed two runs to score. Juan Santana drove in the final run of the game on a RBI base hit on the left side of the infield.
Baez took the hard luck loss after allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six batters through 7.1 innings of work. Moclair picked up the win after surrendering just the unearned run on four hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Watkins was the only Crusher to hit safely multiple times, going 2-for-4 on the night. Tromp walked in his final plate appearance and has now reached safely in 13 straight games, while Harris went 1-for-3 and has hits in each of his last five games.
The Crushers will continue their series with the Miners at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday night. Right-hander Yasel Santana (0-1, 3.32) will get the start for the Crushers and the Miners will counter with lefty Alex Hart (2-1, 3.27). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.