The Crushers beat the Otters and win their first series since the middle of June.
Avon, OH. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, used stellar pitching by starter Jordan Kraus (3-4) and a few runs throughout the game to beat the Evansville Otters, 3-0.
With the win, the Crushers (19-24) improve to 13-10 at All Pro Freight Stadium and are 15-5 when scoring first. This series win marks their first series victory since taking down the Traverse City Beach Bums two weeks ago. For the Otters (26-20), this defeat marks their seventh loss in their previous nine road games.
The Crushers fired the first shot in this game, as they did in every game of the series. In the bottom of the third inning, Bryan De La Rosa was plucked by a pitch with one out. After De La Rosa took first base, he moved to second base on a wild pitch. Parker Norris came up next and hit an RBI triple to left field. Justin Byrd reached on a fielder's choice to Otters' first baseman, Nik Balog. Norris was out at home as Balog's throw beat him to the plate. Byrd would steal second and come around to score on an RBI single by Max Casper. The Crushers led 2-0 in the third inning.
Lake Erie would add an insurance run in the fifth. De La Rosa singled to start the inning. Norris looked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, and did so successfully in front of Otters' catcher, Kolten Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi's throw to first base sailed over Balog's head, allowing De La Rosa to score and Norris to get to third base.
The Otters made it interesting in the top of the ninth for a second consecutive night. Kaeo Aliviado doubled to start the inning. That hit knocked Kraus out of the game as Crushers' manager Cameron Roth called on Chandler Jagodzinski (2). Josh Allen flew out to center field and Chris Sweeney struck out looking before Balog was hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second base, Denzel Richardson struck out looking.
For the Crushers, Kraus picked up the win as he went eight, shutout innings, allowing only three hits and struck out seven hitters. Jagodzinski, who pitched in every game this series, notched his second save of the year.
The Otter's starting pitcher, Tyler Vail (2-2) pitched well but took the loss. He threw seven innings and allowed only three runs, two earned while striking out seven hitters. Andrew Potter pitched an inning of relief, allowing one hit.
The Crushers will travel to Crestwood, Illinois to take on the Windy City ThunderBolts, beginning on Wednesday. The first day of the series will feature a double-header. The starting pitchers for both the Crushers and T-Bolts have not been announced. The first pitch for game one of the twin bill is scheduled for 6:05 PM.