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Media Contact: Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium / Lake Erie Crushers
August 2, 2012
Weldon To The Rescue
Weldon’s pinch-hit single propels Crushers to 14th one-run victory
AVON, Ohio – Kyle Weldon’s pinch-hit two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning was all the offense the Lake Erie Crushers would need as they completed their three game sweep of the Rockford RiverHawks Thursday night at All Pro Freight Stadium. The 1-0 victory is the 14th time the Crushers have come out on top in one-run ball games, the most such victories in the Frontier League. The Crushers now have four series sweeps this season, all of which have occurred at home (source: Sports Vault).
The win for the Crushers (39-30) was their fourth in a row while the loss marks the fourth consecutive defeat for Rockford (30-39). The Crushers finish the regular season 5-1 against Rockford as they took two of three from the RiverHawks back at the end of May in their first series meeting.
Opportunities were scarce for both teams as pitching dominated the game until the eighth inning. Lake Erie’s Trevor Longfellow went five strong innings of shutout baseball, only allowing two hits. His counterpart Kyle Lindquist, who was penciled in to start only moments before the game, was just as productive going five and two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and no runs.
Nick Anderson, who was originally supposed to start for Rockford, was scratched at the last minute after experiencing back soreness.
Rockford’s best chance to score was in their half of the seventh inning. Matt Greener led off the inning with a single and Jet Butler immediately followed with another single to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Alex Loftin, who was in his second inning of relief at the time, would escape the jam after retiring the next three batters, Evan Button, Mike Thomas and Justino Cuevas in order.
In the eighth, Rockford sent out reliever Mickey Cassidy to attempt to keep the Crushers bats silent. Daniel Bowman led off the inning with a single, and was sacrificed over to second by a Robby Kuzdale bunt down the first base line. Brian Erie would strike out swinging to record the second out of the inning, with Bowman still standing at second. Kyle Weldon then stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter in place of starting shortstop Aaron Klinec. Down in the count 1-2, Weldon took a Cassidy pitch over the outer half of the plate and shot it into left field for a single, pushing across Bowman to score the Crushers first and only run of the game and Weldon’s fifth RBI of the season.
Crushers closer Jonathan Kountis was brought into the game in the ninth inning in hopes of picking up save number 13. Kountis retired Michael Hur, Greener, and Butler in order to secure the 1-0 victory, and the Crushers’ sixth win in their last nine at home.
Lake Erie’s Ben Klafczynski (3-1, 3.08 ERA) picked up the win after pitching a scoreless eighth inning, in which he struck out two and did not allow a single hit.
Rockford’s Mickey Cassidy (2-2, 5.52 ERA) took the loss after allowing the one run in the eighth; Cassidy struck out one and allowed two hits in his one inning of relief.
The Crushers finished the evening with five hits, with two of them coming in that dramatic eighth frame. One of those five hits came off the bat of rookie shortstop Aaron Klinec in the sixth inning, which was his first hit as a professional.
The Crushers will begin a three game series with the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park on Friday night. Left hander Paul Fagan (6-4, 3.15) will start for the Crushers, and the Wild Things will counter with a pitcher that is yet to be determined.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at All Pro Freight Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 14 teams operating throughout the Midwest. Season tickets for the 2012 season are on sale now! For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.
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All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011