Sunday, July 08, 2012
Left on base
AVON, Ohio – The Lake Erie Crushers left 13 runners on base in their first half finale against Southern Illinois at All Pro Freight Stadium on Sunday evening, as they dropped the rubber match to the Miners, 5-4 on Kids Run the Show day.
The loss for the Crushers (25-23) marks the first time they’ve lost a series since dropping two out of three to Florence back on June 19, while the victory for the Miners (29-19) was their fifth in their last six games.
Lake Erie left the bases loaded twice, and for the second night in a row, saw the game end with the potential tying run at third.
Southern Illinois struck first in the top of the fifth, after Paul Fagan retired the first 12 batters he faced in the contest. Carlos Mendez ended that string with a double to start the fifth inning. Mendez made his way to third after Ken Gregory reached on J.C. Figueroa’s error, and scored on Will Block’s base hit.
The Crushers then plated a trio of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The bottom of the order produced yet again for the Crushers. Andrew Davis started the inning with a base hit, and made his way to second on Daniel Bowman’s single. Brian Erie and Brandon Decker then stroked back-to-back RBI singles to give the Crushers a 2-1 lead, and Erie scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.
The Crushers maintained that 3-1 lead, until the Miners blew up for four in the eighth to take the lead for good. Fagan hit Sean Coughlin with a pitch to start the inning, and was pulled after allowing a single to Cannon Lester. Jake Kaase drove in the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly, before Chad Maddox doubled in the next two runs to give the Miners a 4-3 lead. Maddox came home moments later on Gregory’s base hit to cap the inning.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the ninth. After retiring Figueroa to start the ninth inning, Albert Ayala issued four free passes. He walked Bowman with the bases full to score Jason Taylor, moving the tying run to third, and potential game winning run to second. Ayala was replaced by Anthony Collazo who struck out Erie to end the game.
Ryan Quigley (1-2) delivered 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, and allowed just a hit while fanning two to secure the victory. Travis Risser (2-2) allowed two inherited runs to score in the eighth, and two of his own in his only inning of action and suffered the loss. Collazo was credited with his first save of the season.
Erie, Davis and Decker paced the Crushers with two hits apiece, while Taylor reached twice on a pair of free passes, and has now reached safely in 32 consecutive games.
The Crushers are off for the next four days for the Frontier League All Star break, but will return to action on Friday, July 13. They will begin a three game series against the River City Rascals at T.R. Hughes Ballpark. The pitching matchups have not been announced, and the first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
by Andy Barch