Jun 19, 2024

Warkentin Remains Lake Erie’s Boogeyman, Crushers Drop Series

Avon, OH — The Joliet Slammers (16-19) picked up right where they left off on Tuesday night with a 12-8 win on Wednesday morning at Crushers Stadium against the Lake Erie Crushers (22-13).

Like game one of the series, Joliet struck first. In the 2nd, DH Andrew Castano launched his first professional home run to give a quick lead for the Slammers. Lake Erie would respond to tie the game in the bottom half, 1-1.

The Slammers would log another home run in the 4th, this time by 3B Giovanni Garbella. The three-run blast came with two outs off Matt Valin. The Lake Erie starter would go just 4.2 IP, giving up the two homers. A fifth earned run was addressed to Valin’s line on an Andrew Castano single (Enrique Ozoa had relieved Valin with two outs in the 5th).

In a 5-1 game, Enrique Ozoa came back out for the 6th inning. This was where the Slammers broke things open. Ozoa couldn’t find a putaway pitch, giving up hard contact most of the inning. At the end of the inning, the Slammers had amassed five runs on five hits. 1B Matthew Warkentin highlighted the inning with a double to center field, his third hit of the game. The Slammers led 10-1.

Lake Erie tried clawing back in the bottom of the 6th with a two out, two-run double by 2B Ethan Skender. Still a large 10-3 lead for Joliet, but a little life for the home squad.

In the 7th, LF Scout Knotts drove in a run with a long RBI single. Then, the big swing came from DH Alfredo Gonzalez. A two-run blast just like his one on Tuesday sent a splash of life into the Crushers dugout and made the score 10-6.

However, just when things were looking up for the Crushers, the team’s hopes came barreling back down. In the 8th, Matthew Warkentin would shoot a line drive over the left field fence for a two-run home run to put Joliet back up further with a 12-6 score. A knife to the chest for the Crushers’ potential comeback.

Warkentin’s game warrants a look for the second straight day. The Joliet slugger went 4-6 with 4 R, 3 RBI, a double, and a homer on Wednesday. He now sits tied atop the Frontier League with nine homers on the season.

Late substitution, RF Jose Torrealba, would launch his first homer of the season in the 8th, a two-run shot to make the score 12-8. Unfortunately for Lake Erie, the score would hold and the Slammers became the first road team to win a series in Avon in 2024. Too little, too late on Wednesday with the bullpen leaking oil.

Fifteen hits for Joliet give them thirty-one (31) hits in the series, and there’s still another game to be played.

The Crushers now sit tied for second place in the Frontier League West, pending results from later today.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Joliet Slammers 0 1 0 3 1 5 0 2 0 12 15 0
Lake Erie Crushers 0 1 0 0 0 2 3 2 0 8 10 2

 

Lake Erie will try to salvage a game on Thursday, June 20, with the first pitch set for 11:05 a.m. EST. Former Frontier League Pitcher of the Week, Jack Eisenbarger, will look to play stopper.

Frontier League Standings: https://frontierleague.com/sports/bsb/2023-24/overall-standings

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