Seesaw Battle

Seesaw Battle

The Crushers' 11 runs are not enough as the Beach Bums come back to complete the sweep

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.  --  The Lake Erie Crushers fall to the Traverse City Beach Bums, 12-11, in a game that included 23 runs, 31 hits and 11 innings.


With the loss, the Crushers (8-5) are now 2-2 in extra-inning games and finish the road trip with a record of three wins and five losses. The Beach Bums (6-8) completed their first sweep of the 2016 season.


Traverse City scored first, something they did in every game of the series. Crushers' starter Colin Feldtman struggled with his command early in the bottom of the first. Ryan Bottger walked to lead off the inning and then Steven Patterson walked with one out. Jose Vargas' single to left field loaded the bases. Still with one out, Nathaniel Causey hit a bases clearing double to the wall in center field. The Beach Bums led 3-0 after the first inning.


The Crushers were able to respond in the top of the second inning. Bryan De La Rosa walked with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Max Casper walked, setting up an infield single by Connor Oliver that bounced off of the glove of Beach Bums starter, Kyle McKay, loading the bases. Parks Jordan then came up and hit a two-run single to right field, scoring De La Rosa and Casper. James Ball came out of the bullpen and immediately served up a double to Jose Barraza, which scored two more. The Crushers led the Beach Bums 4-3 after the top of the second.


Lake Erie continued adding onto their lead in the top of the third inning. Daniel Aldrich hit a ground-rule double with one out. With two outs, Parker Norris then hit a single which scored Aldrich. Norris moved to second on the throw home. Casper continued the hit parade with a single to left, plating Norris and putting the Crushers up by three runs. The next batter, Oliver, hit a two-run home run over the right field fence, capping the second consecutive four run inning. The Crushers went up on Traverse City, 8-3.


In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Beach Bums struck back. Causey led off the inning with a seven pitch walk. With one out, Casey Rodrigue hit a single to right field, moving Causey to second. Wes Wallace walked which loading the bases. Jeff DeBlieux hit an RBI single, scoring Causey. Keegan Ghidotti entered the game to pitch for Feldtman and gave up a sacrifice fly to Bottger. Will Kengor hit a double that rolled all the way to the wall in center, scoring Wallace and DeBlieux. Kengor was thrown out at third, trying to stretch the hit into a triple. With the four run fourth inning, the Crushers lead was cut to one, 8-7.


In the bottom of the sixth, Rodrigue led off with a single and then stole second. With one out, DeBlieux lined into what should have been an inning-ending double play at second base. However, catcher's interference was called on the Crushers catcher, Barraza. Rodrigue was allowed to stay on second and DeBlieux was awarded first base. With two outs and DeBlieux on second base, Kengor hit an RBI single to left field, tying the game at eight.


The Men of Crush responded again in the top of the seventh inning. Juan Avila hit a ground-rule double to lead things off. With one out, Aldrich slapped a single to center, scoring Avila and putting the Crushers back in the lead, 9-8.


The back-and-forth scoring continued with the Beach Bums in the bottom of the eighth inning. Wallace was able to go all the way to second base on an error by Crushers third baseman, Parker Norris. DeBlieux then tied the game at nine with an RBI single to right field.


Lake Erie grabbed the lead again in the top of the eleventh inning. With the international rules in place, Casper was put on second base to start the inning. Oliver singled which allowed Casper to advance to third. Parks Jordan then hit a two-run double down the right field line.


Traverse City put more runs on the board in the bottom of the eleventh, including the game winner. DeBlieux started the inning on second and scored on a Bottger single. Chandler Jagodzinski was able to get two outs on the mound for the Crushers before the Beach Bums fought back. Vargas singled and Causey walked to load the bases and set up a two-run, game-winning single into right field by Brandon Thomasson.


Feldtman went 3.1 innings for the Crushers, giving up seven runs on four hits and four walks. Four Crushers came out of the bullpen going 6.2 innings and did not allow an earned run, before Jagodzinski (0-1) allowed three runs, two of them earned, in the eleventh and picked up the loss.


For the Beach Bums, McKay allowed four runs and gave up four hits in 1.2 innings of work. James Ball relieved McKay and allowed four more runs over 1.1 innings. Traverse City's bullpen then settled down, going eight innings and allowing only three more runs.


Lake Erie's Casper went 4-10 in this series with three runs scored and two RBI. Oliver went 6-13 with two RBI and a home run in this series. Juan Avila went 6-11 with two doubles against the Beach Bums.


Crushers' manager, Chris Mongiardo, was ejected for arguing a call after the top of the fifth inning.


Following a day off on Monday, the Crushers will return home to All Pro Freight Stadium and battle the Gateway Grizzlies on Tuesday. The Crushers will send Steven Hagen (1-0, 1.69) to the mound. The Grizzlies starting pitcher will be announced later. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.