Back to back blankings
Fagan goes the distance as Crushers shutout Rockford, again
AVON, Ohio. – One night after Josh Roberts tossed a complete game shutout against the Rockford Riverhawks, lefty Paul Fagan repeated the efforts of Roberts, as the Crushers blanked the Riverhawks with a 4-0 victory at All Pro Freight Stadium on Saturday night.
The victory for the Crushers (47-41) was their fourth in a row, and keeps them a half game ahead of the Traverse City Beach Bums for the final playoff spot in the Frontier League’s Eastern Division. The loss for the Riverhawks (34-55) was their sixth in a row.
Fagan (7-10) had struck out 20 batters in his previous two starts, but didn’t have to rely on many punch outs to score the victory on Saturday. Fagan struck out just two batters, and allowed six hits, all singles and issued no walks in the complete game shutout.
The Crushers jumped on the board early in the bottom of the first, as Jereme Milons began the inning with a base hit, and was bunted over to second base by Jodam Rivera. Andrew Davis then singled through the right side of the infield to score Milons, marking his ninth game in a row with at least one RBI.
Lake Erie added another run in the second inning, as Patrick Norris deposited Chris Nyman’s (2-4) 0-1 pitch over the wall in left field for his first homerun of the season to give the Crushers a 2-0 lead.
Norris struck again in the fourth inning. Jason Taylor and Kellen Kulbacki stroked back to back one out singles, and Kulbacki’s base hit to right field was booted by Evan Button, putting runners on second and third. Norris then grounded out to second base, allowing Taylor to score.
The Crushers got their final run in the bottom of the eighth. Rivera walked to start the inning and moved to third on Taylor’s single. Norris walked to load the bases, and Brian Erie followed with a free pass as well to bring in the game’s final run.
The shutout victory for Lake Erie was their sixth of the season.
Nyman suffered the loss for Rockford, despite a strong effort. The left-hander allowed three runs on seven hits over six and two-thirds with a pair of strikeouts.
Davis and Taylor led the way for Lake Erie offensively, with 2-for-4 performances. Davis has hit safely in his last seven games, and during his nine game RBI streak, he’s knocked in 13 runs. Milons’s single in the first inning extended his on base streak to 11 games and Kulbacki’s base hit in the fourth extended his on base streak to eight.
The Crushers will finish their three game series with the Rockford Riverhawks at All Pro Freight Stadium on Sunday evening. The Crushers will start right-hander Thomas Campbell (4-2, 2.66) and the Riverhawks will counter with right-hander Brett Scarpetta (6-6, 5.38).The first pitch is scheduled for 5:05 PM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011