Even Series Against Wild Things
WASHINGTON, PA – The bats were alive for the Lake Erie Crushers (15-20) as they throttled the Washington Wild Things (14-20) 6-1 at CONSOL Energy Park. The Crushers evened the series thanks in large part to the long ball and a stellar pitching performance by Eric Gonzalez-Diaz (W, 2-4, 4.27).
The Crushers wasted little time getting on the board as after an Adrian Ortiz (2-5, R) flyout to start the game, Robby Kuzdale singled to center before Jason Taylor (1-2, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB) annihilated the first pitch of his at bat against Eric Blackwell (L, 2-3, 8.31), which cleared the fence by about 60 feet for a two-run home run, his fourth of the season.
Andrew Davis (1-4, 3 RBI) saw what Taylor did and decided to one-up his effort in the third inning. Taylor led off the third with a walk and Russ Moldenhauer (2-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, 2B) followed suit before Andrew Davis took the first pitch of his at bat and hit a moonshot over the video scoreboard in right field for a three run home run and his second of the season.
The Wild Things finally got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Michael Bando (2-4, 2B, 3B) led off with a double to left and was sacrificed over to third by Michael Mooney (0-3). Andrew Heck (1-4, RBI) then came up and hit a sharp grounder into the hole in short, which Wally Correa gloved, but no play was available and the run scored on the infield single.
The Crushers would add one in the fourth when Rich Witten (2-5) led off with a single, moved up on an Ortiz single (thus extending his hitting streak to 17 games) then moved up again on a Kuzdale single to left which loaded the base. It seems like it would be a repeat performance of last night’s inability to score runs with the bases loaded when Taylor grounded out on a fielder’s choice, cancelling the run at home, but Moldenhauer was able to work a walk for the sixth run of the ballgame.
That would be all the scoring in the game as Gonzalez-Diaz did a masterful job of scattering nine hits in 7.2 IP while only allowing the one run and striking out six without walking a single batter. Mickey Jannis came on to record the final four outs of the game. Starter for the Wild Things Eric Blackwell filled up the stat sheet going 3+ innings, allowing all six runs (all earned) on eight hits, he walked three and struck out six. The Wild Things bullpen pitched six innings of scoreless relief while striking out nine.
While the score was pleasant for the Crushers, they still had trouble leaving men on, as they won this game while leaving ten men on the base baths and striking out 15 times. The Crushers and Wild Things wrap up their series tomorrow night at 7:05 where Alex Loftin (2-0, 0.82) of the Crushers will go up against Casey Barnes (1-2, 3.96) in the rubber game of the series.
by Jake Donnelly
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011