Jun 19, 2024

Late Homers Not Enough, Crushers Fall to Slammers in 10

Avon, OH— A late comeback wasn’t enough as the Lake Erie Crushers (22-12) lost just their fourth game at home, this time at the hands of the Joliet Slammers (15-19).

Slammers DH Matthew Warkentin got the Slammers on the board with an RBI fielder’s choice in the 1st inning, but the Crushers would get it right back in the bottom half with a 3B Logan Thomason RBI single, making the score 1-1 after one.

The Crushers would strike next when 2B Ethan Skender drilled a ball into the right center gap with two outs for an RBI double. The 2nd inning knock brought around DH Alex Epp and gave the Crushers the lead, 2-1.

In the top of the third inning, Warkentin singled into left field before SS Jack Allgeyer brought him home with a two out RBI single to knot the score at two. This would not be the last time we hear from Matthew Warkentin.

Leonardo Rodriguez came in relief of Lake Erie starter, Anthony Escobar, who went just four innings, giving up two runs. Rodriguez would give up a leadoff single to Warkentin before the Slammers loaded the bases with one out. Then, a balk was called on Rodriguez, allowing Warkentin to score the go-ahead run to make it 3-2 Joliet.

Then, in the 7th, Rodriguez was following up a 1-2-3 inning (the only one of the game for Lake Erie pitching), but gave up a leadoff single to Matthew Warkentin before the Slammers would load the bases again, this time with nobody out.

In relief, the Crushers whisked Cal Carver to the mound in hopes of saving the inning. The first batter he would face would be SS Jake Allgeyer who Carver walked, allowing a run to score. He responded by striking out RF Giovanni Garbella before another run would be scored on a single from LF Liam McArthur.

Hopes were looking up for the Crushers as a grounder to second base looked to be the inning ending double play, but 1B Scout Knotts muffed the chest-high relay throw – a missed catch error which allowed the sixth run to cross the plate for Joliet.

Down four In the bottom of the eighth, the Crushers didn’t go quietly. A loud leadoff single by CF Burle Dixon preceded a two-run homer by C Alfredo Gonzalez to cut the deficit to two.

Then, in the 9th, SS Jarrod Watkins doubled down the right field line to put himself in scoring position, with the tying run at the plate in 1B Scout Knotts – a storybook matchup, trying to make up for the unearned run prior.

Knotts stepped up and unleashed a rocket off his bat into left field for a home run off Joliet reliever Cole Wesneski. His knock would put the Crushers level with the Slammers, 6-6.

The Crushers managed a one out walk from Burle Dixon, but failed to bring him around. Extra innings were in the cards for Tuesday night in Avon.

Closer Trevor Kuncl took center stage for the home team in the 10th inning. With one out, Matthew Warkentin then stepped up to the plate and delivered a single down the middle for the go-ahead RBI.

This knock was Warkentin’s fifth single of the game, all coming in consecutive at bats – a career day for the former Chicago Cubs prospect. He and 2B Victor Nova accounted for eight of Joliet’s sixteen hits in the ballgame.

Kuncl then allowed another single and two walks, bringing in a second run to give Joliet an 8-6 edge.

With nothing going in the bottom of the 10th, the Crushers walked away empty handed in a game they willed themselves back into.

The win was attributed to Slammers relief pitcher Cole Wesneski (3-0), who pitched the 9th. The save was given to Ian Delleman (1), who locked it down for Joliet in the 10th. Trevor Kuncl (2-2) was tagged with his second loss of the season, giving up two runs in the 10th.

The nail-biting loss moves Lake Erie to 22-12 on the season, but keeps them second in the West standings, and improves the Slammers to 15-19.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Joliet Slammers 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 0 2 8 16 1
Lake Erie Crushers 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 6 8 0

 

The two teams will meet again in game two of the series on Wednesday, June 19, with the first pitch set to occur at 11:05 a.m. EST from Crushers Stadium. Matt Valin gets the ball for Lake Erie. It’s Super Splash Day at the ballpark, so make sure you wear your swimsuit and prepare for a fun, water-filled day of baseball! There’s no better way to beat this heatwave than with Crushers baseball!

Can’t join us at the ballpark? No worries! You can stream Crushers games all season long on FLOBaseball.tv.

Be sure to also follow the Crushers on our social channels (Instagram/X/Facebook) @LECrushers!

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

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