The Crushers get a three-run double by Jose Barraza and hold on to win the series
Avon, OH -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, took down the Traverse City Beach Bums, 4-3, on Saturday night at All Pro Freight Stadium, as the Crushers used a late comeback to beat the Beach Bums on back-to-back nights.
The Crushers (16-14) win their first series since early June, after losing their past four. With the loss, the Beach Bums (9-22) have now dropped six straight games and fall to 3-13 on the road.
Evan Raynor struggled in his first start with the Lake Erie Crushers after getting struck with a comeback groundball off the bat of Casey Rodrigue. Raynor stayed in, but walked bases loaded in the first inning before striking out Gaby Juarbe to end the frame.
In the second inning, the Beach Bums were able to grab the lead. Raynor walked Brandon Thomasson, gave up a double to Brian Portelli and walked Jeff DeBlieux to load the bases. Juan Caballero entered to pitch for the Crushers with nobody out. Ryan Bottger hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give Traverse City the lead. Rodrigue then hit a groundball that Carlos Avila flipped late to Max Casper at second base, and everyone was safe. That fielder's choice plated Portelli.
Lake Erie started their comeback in the fifth inning. Scott Carcaise walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Parker Norris. Carcaise would score later in the inning on a Bryan De La Rosa single to left field. The Crushers trailed, 2-1.
The Crushers would take the lead for good in the seventh inning. Brendan Costantino pinch-hit for Brady North and walked. Costantino moved to second and De La Rosa reached first on an error by Jose Vargas at third. Benjamin Libuda walked Max Casper to load the bases, before Luke Barker entered on the mound. Barker would strike out Parks Jordan and Cody Herald for the first two outs in the inning. Jose Barraza then came through with a bases-clearing double to the right-center field gap putting the Crushers up, 4-2.
Traverse City threatened in the ninth inning. Two Beach Bums were retired in the inning before Rodrigue hit a double to center field. Vargas then singled to plate Rodrigue, before Kengor struck out to end the game.
Seven arms were used out of the bullpen for the Crushers in this game, going eight total innings and allowing only one run. Caballero put out the fire in the second inning and limited the damage early on in the game. Ryan Richardson (1-0) received the win as he fanned Steve Patterson for the final out in the seventh inning and also got the first out in the eighth inning. Mike Devine (3) picked up the five out save, allowing a run on two hits.
Rob Blanc started the game for the Beach Bums and went five innings, allowing one earned run. Benjamin Libuda (1-3) was saddled with the loss. He went an inning, giving up three runs and walked two Crushers.
The Crushers go for a sweep of the Beach Bums on Sunday at All Pro Freight Stadium. The Crushers starting pitcher will be lefty Todd Kibby (2-2, 3.38). Taking the mound for the Beach Bums will be southpaw Dylan Stoops (2-1, 4.55). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM.