The Crushers use a grand slam, six run seventh inning, to defeat the Freedom
FLORENCE, Ky. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, saw their offense hit on all cylinders as they slammed three home runs and put together a six run inning in their comeback victory, 10-4 on Friday night, over the Florence Freedom.
For the Crushers (31-38), this win is their first against the Florence Freedom in the 2016 season. The victory ends Lake Erie's four game road losing streak. The loss for the Freedom (30-40) marks their fourth loss over their previous six games.
In the first inning, the Crushers put the first run on the board. Robb Paller walked, moved to second base on Sean Hurley's single to left and went to third on Jose Barraza's single to right field. Eric Grabe grounded into a fielder's choice, allowing Paller to score.
The Freedom then pulled ahead in the bottom of the third inning. Jordan Brower reached on an error by the Crushers' starting pitcher, Juan Caballero. He moved to second as Isaac Wenrich singled to left-center field. Daniel Fraga hit a fielder's choice back to Caballero and reached first base before Taylor Oldham lifted a three-run homer just inside the foul pole in left field.
Florence added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth as Collins Cuthrell hit a double to left field. The relay throw from the shortstop, Grabe, to Max Casper at second base was offline and allowed Cuthrell to get to third. Josh Henderson then hit a double to right-center field, plating a run and giving the Freedom a 4-1 lead after four innings.
The Crushers bats then woke up and went to work. Paller walked with one out and then Connor Oliver belted a two-out, two-run home run to right field, his eleventh of the season.
Down by one run, going into the seventh inning, the Crushers blew the game open. Paller walked for the third time in the gameSean Hurleyshed to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Sean Hurley. Oliver walked and Barraza singled to load the bases. Former Freedom player, Richard Seigel then ripped a grand slam home run to right field with only the second grand slam this season for the Men of Crush. Brendan Costantino immediately singled after the homer and stole second. Later in the inning, in his second at bat of the seventh, Paller hit an RBI single to left field, plating Costantino and capping the six run inning.
The Crushers added a run of insurance as Barraza crushed his sixth home run of the season to left field.
Caballero went four, strong innings for the Crushers. He allowed four runs, one earned run, on five hits. Manny Arciniega (1-1) picked up his first win of the season as he pitched two hitless innings of relief. Brad Duffy also pitched two scoreless innings and Jordan McCoy finished the job in the ninth inning.
For the Freedom, Tony Vocca started the game on the mound and threw 4.2 innings, giving up five hits, three runs, and walked four. Pete Levitt finished the fifth inning unharmed and Ben Allison pitched a scoreless inning. The bullpen then struggled the rest of the way. T.J. Bozeman (1-2) was saddled with the loss as he allowed four runs on a hit and three walks while only recording one out in the seventh inning. Ethan Gibbons also gave up two runs as he worked his way out of the seventh. Finally, Tanner Kiest allowed a run on two hits over two innings of work.
The Crushers will continue this series on Saturday. The Crushers will start southpaw, Connor Reed (2-1, 3.62). The Freedom will start right-hander Jordan Kraus (4-7, 3.09). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.