Tough Comeback Loss
Ten runs were not enough for the Crushers as they lose by two in the series finale to the Rascals
O'Fallon, Mo. – The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, fell to the River City Rascals, 12-10 on Thursday night, as the Crushers scored the first seven runs of the game but could not withstand the Rascals comeback.
For the Crushers (29-33), the loss marks their fourth loss in their previous six games. The Men of Crush are now 13-19 away from home. The win for the Rascals (30-32) ends their three game losing streak. River City is now 19-9 in games that they are the second team to score.
The Crushers started the slugfest in the first inning. Connor Oliver led off and hit a ball that bounced past first baseman, Clint Freeman. Oliver was able to get all the way to second base on the error. He would move to third on a groundout by Brendan Costantino and would score on a groundout to second off the bat of Jose Barraza.
In the top of the second inning, the Crushers went to work, again. Sean Hurley led off with a single, but was out trying to stretch it into a double. Parker Norris then singled and Bryan De La Rosa followed with a double to left field. With runners on first and third, Max Casper hit an RBI single and Oliver followed with an RBI single. With two outs, Barraza and Eric Grabe hit RBI singles. Richard Seigel then capped the six-run inning with a two-run single off the high wall in right field. The Crushers led 7-0 after an inning and a half.
River City then responded with a big inning of their own. Kyle Gaedele singled to lead off the bottom of the inning. Clint Freeman then hit a two-run homer to right field, his seventh of the season. The next batter, Josh Ludy doubled and Jason Merjano hit his fourth home run of the season. Still with nobody out, Robby Enslen doubled. Later in the inning, with Enslen on third, Johnny Morales singled, making it a 7-5 game after the second inning.
To lead off the third inning, Norris was hit by a pitch and De La Rosa walked setting up a three run home run from Oliver, his tenth of the season. The Crushers went up 10-5.
Once again, the Rascals would make it close in the bottom of the third inning. Freeman doubled and Ludy hit his third homer of the season, to left field.
The Crushers lead evaporated in the bottom of the fourth inning. Morales singled and would come around to score on Josh Silver's seventh homer of the season. The Rascals would tie the game when Gaedele hit his eighth home run of the season, immediately after Silver's jack.
In the fifth inning, the Rascals would take the lead for good. Merjano doubled and scored when Enslen singled. Mike Jurgella singled and Alexi Colon walked to load the bases. Enslen scored on Morales' groundout to second base.
The Rascals pitching staff retired the final 13 Crusher hitters beginning with the final out in the fifth inning. The Crushers only had two hits after the third inning.
Steve Hagen started and only went 3.1 innings. He allowed 10 runs on 11 hits. The most runs he allowed in a start prior to tonight was five runs on July 22. This also was equal to his shortest start of the season. Justin Sinibaldi (0-4) is given the loss as he gave up two runs on four hits over 2.2 innings. Jordan McCoy and Brad Duffy also pitched an inning in this game.
Josh Wright started the game for the Rascals. He pitched 1.1 innings giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits. Reese Gregory pitched an inning, allowing four runs on three hits. Jason Zgardowski (1-1) pitched very well and got the win. He threw 4.2 innings, striking out nine and allowing one run on three hits. Zac Treece (14) nailed down the save after pitching a scoreless ninth inning.
Oliver and Grabe had three hit games. Everyone in the lineup for the Crushers recorded a hit except Costantino. The Crushers won this series and they win the season series, 4-2.
The Crushers will travel to The Corn Crib to play the Normal CornBelters on Friday. Lake Erie will start right-hander Mike Devine (7-3, 2.84) while the CornBelters will counter with right-hander Michael Schweiss (5-4, 2.81) as their starting pitcher. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 PM.