May 14, 2024

Lake Erie Crushers Opening Weekend Recap

Avon, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers got the 2024 season off to a great start, downing the Gateway Grizzlies in the opening series thanks to a Mother’s Day 6-2 win on Sunday.

1B Vincent Byrd Jr. kickstarted the offense in the 1st, rocketing a solo home run over the right field fence for the first Crushers bomb of the season.

Both teams had played Respondent Ron all series long, and Sunday was no different. The Grizzlies found two runs in the top of the second inning when 1B Jack-Thomas Wold and RF Kyle Gaedele both doubled into left field to put men at 2nd and 3rd. 3B DJ Stewart grounded out, scoring Wold to knot things up at one. The following batter, CF Cole Brannen, singled into right field sending Wold home and giving the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Crushers loaded the bases for the red-hot Ronald Washington Jr., who crushed a ball into the left-center field gap to clear the bases, giving the Crushers the lead right back. In the opening series Washington slashed .364/.462/.636 with 3 doubles and 5 RBI, leading Lake Erie’s offense in the first three games. Crushers SS Jarrod Watkins followed things up with an RBI triple, sending Washington Jr. home to put the score at 5-2 to end the four-run 3rd inning.

Crushers 3B Logan Thomason (in his first professional game) recorded a ground-rule double to get in scoring position to lead off the bottom of the 6th, giving way to an RBI single moments later from the leadoff hitter, 2B Ethan Skender.

Crushers RHP Matt Mulhearn started the game and went 5 IP, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits, striking out 3. Mulhearn would earn the first win for a Lake Erie starting pitcher this season. He gave way to relievers Christian Scafidi, Kenny Pierson, and Brayden Bonner, who combined for four scoreless innings, putting the finishing touches on a Crushers series win.

Grizzlies starter RHP Collin Sullivan was addressed the loss after giving up 5 ER in just 3 innings of work.

A wild series of baseball that saw everything from a pitching masterclass, a pitching disaster-class, and an industry standard baseball product. You never know what you’ll see when you spend an afternoon at the ballpark.

Lake Erie’s notable performers in the opening series include:

Jack Harris: 4-8 with 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB and 2-3 in SB attempts

Vincent Byrd Jr.: 6-13 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI

Ronald Washington: 4-11 with 3 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI

Brayden Bonner: 0.00 ERA in 3.0 IP and 3 K, 0 BB

Kenny Pierson: 0.00 ERA in 2.1 IP with 5 K, 0 BB

Lake Erie clinches an opening series win over Gateway, starting the season 2-1. The Grizzlies will remain on the road as they take on the Evansville Otters on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:35 p.m. EST. For the Crushers, they will stay at home to take on the Joliet Slammers on Tuesday with a morning (!) game time set for 11:05 a.m. EST. Joliet and Lake Erie enter the midweek series at 2-1.


May 12, 2024

Cade Cracas and Zane Bloom




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