Crushers sweep Slammers
Crushers secure first road sweep in 2-1 victory
JOLIET, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers scored their first road sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon, as they held the Joliet Slammers to five hits, and took the series finale at Silver Cross Field, 2-1.
The win for the Crushers (48-36) was their fourth in a row, and gives them 18 wins in one-run games this season. The loss for the Slammers (35-49) was their sixth in a row.
Quite like the opener, hits were very tough to come by, and pitching dominated most of the contest.
Lake Erie took the lead in the top of the third inning, when Adrian Ortiz, who hit safely five times in the series, belted a solo homerun, his fourth of the season, to give the Crushers the early advantage.
Ortiz scored Lake Erie’s second run as well. He began the fifth inning with a base hit, and on Jim Schult’s (5-7) third consecutive pickoff attempt at first, his errant throw went into foul ground, putting Ortiz on second. Ortiz came home moments later on Brian Erie’s base hit to right field.
Eric Gonzalez-Diaz (7-7) tossed six scoreless innings to start the game, and Ben Klafczynski entered in the seventh. He walked two, before allowing a run scoring single to Matt Mirabal, and was replaced by Travis Risser, who retired the final two batters of the inning to maintain the 2-1 lead.
Joliet threatened again in the bottom of the eighth inning. Jonathan Kountis (17) was given the opportunity to snag his third save over the last four games. He retired the first two batters of the eighth, before walking Erik Lis, who moved to third on David Christensen’s double down the left field line. Kountis responded by fanning Kyle Maunus to end the inning, then worked a perfect ninth to score the save.
Gonzalez-Diaz was sensational again in another incredible road start. He’s 2-0 over his last two road tilts, tallying 14 scoreless innings of four hit ball. He struck out three on Sunday afternoon, and didn’t allow any walks. Kountis struck out three batters over two innings to grab his 17th save, third most in the Frontier League.
Ortiz and Russ Moldenhauer paced the Crushers on the day with two hits apiece. Ortiz went 2-for-3 and reached three times in four plate appearances. Moldenhauer did the same, and went 5-for-10 in the series. While the sweep marked their first on the road this season, it was their sixth sweep overall in the 2012 campaign.
The Crushers are off on Monday, but will begin a three-game series with the Road Warriors at All Pro Freight Stadium on Tuesday night. Left hander Paul Fagan (7-6, 3.17) will start for the Crushers, and the Road Warriors will counter with left hander Shawn Marquardt (1-3, 3.57). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
2011 Press Releases
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011