Opening Statement

Opening Statement
All-around effort keys Crushers in 7-5 victory
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AVON, Ohio  -- The Lake Erie Crushers emptied out their bullpen and used a four-run fourth inning to score an opening night victory, with a 7-5 win over the River City Rascals at All Pro Freight Stadium on Thursday night. 
The victory for the Crushers (1-0) marks the second time in three years that they won their season opener under Manager Chris Mongiardo, while the loss for the Rascals (0-1) snapped a three-game winning streak against the Crushers at All Pro Freight Stadium. 
Lake Erie used eight different pitchers on the night. Their seven relievers allowed just one run over the final 6.1 innings of the contest to hang on to the lead. 
River City took their first of two leads in the top of the first inning. Kyle Gaedele stroked a two-out double to right, and scored moments later as Griff Gordon reached on Juan Avila's error at third. 
Lake Erie answered with a pair of runs to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning. It started on a leadoff double from Connor Oliver, and he came around to score on Parks Jordan's RBI single to right. Jordan scored the go-ahead run two batters later on Jose Barraza's base hit to center. The Crushers added another run in the bottom of the second. 
Carlos Avila began the inning with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Brady North moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt before Avila made his way to third on a single from Max Casper, and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Oliver. 
In the fourth, the Rascals scored three times with two outs to regain the lead. Dominique Taylor drove in the first run on a RBI single, and Johnny Morales followed with a two-run base hit that went back up the middle, chasing Lake Erie starting pitcher Todd Kibby from the game. 
Just as they had done in the first inning, the Crushers quickly regained the lead in the next half-inning, scoring four times on five hits. North started the rally on a double to right-center, and scored on Casper's RBI single. Oliver followed Casper with a RBI double to right-center to give the Crushers a 5-4 advantage. Jordan followed with a free pass, and Barraza drove them both home on a two-out, two-run base hit to cap the big inning. 
River City had chances to score, but hit into three different double plays, including a pair of inning-enders in the fifth and again in the sixth. They scored their final run in the Willi Martin's pinch-hit RBI single in to right. 
Mike Devine (1-0) worked just a third of an inning, relieving Kibby in the top of the fourth inning to score the victory, while Colin Feldtman (1) worked a perfect ninth inning to score the save. 
Seven out of the starting nine hit safely at least once for the Crushers. Oliver led the way at the top of the order going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and he drove in two as well. Casper had a pair of hits as well, going 2-for-4 with a run and drove one in as well. 
The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the River City Rascals at All Pro Freight Stadium on Friday night. Right-hander Fernando Gallegos (0-0, 0.00) will start for the Crushers and the Rascals will counter with right-hander Tim Koons (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.