No Slammer Sweep
Two big frames help Crushers snap four-game slide
JOLIET, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Joliet Slammers on Thursday night at Silver Cross Field, as they scored four times in the seventh, and five times in the eighth to pull away with a convincing, 10-2 victory over the Slammers.
The Crushers (13-9) brought an end to their season long, four-game losing streak with the victory, while the loss for the Slammers (13-12) ended their five-game winning streak.
Lake Erie received six strong innings from Steve Hagen (2-0), who picked up the victory, while they snapped a 1-1 tie with a four-run seventh inning, before putting the game away with a five-run eighth.
For the third straight night, the Crushers scored first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Parker Norris began the inning with a walk, before advancing to second on a passed ball, and made his way to third on a Max Casper single. Later in the inning, Carlos Avila brought Norris home on a RBI single to snap the scoreless tie.
Joliet was able to tie the game at 1-1 in the home half of the sixth inning, on back-to-back two-out doubles from Carter Bell, and Marc Flores. Flores's two-bagger was enough to score Bell, tying the game at 1-1.
Lake Erie answered with a huge seventh inning to snap the 1-1 tie, scoring four times on just a pair of hits. William Beckwith started the inning with a base hit, but was put out at second moments later as Bryan De La Rosa reached on a fielder's choice. Parker Norris and Parks Jordan followed with walks to load the bases for Casper. Casper then reached on a fielder's choice, and Norris was retired at third on the play, but an errant throw by the second baseman allowed both Jordan and De La Rosa to score. The error would prove to be very costly, as Connor Oliver followed with a two-run homer to right, his third of the season, capping the huge frame.
The Crushers then put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth inning by scoring five times on five hits. Juan Avila and Beckwith started the rally with back-to-back singles, and they both scored on De La Rosa's two-run double. De La Rosa stole third, and Norris followed with a walk before Jordan reached on an infield single to bring De La Rosa home. Casper then reached on a walk to load the bases, and Oliver grounded out to first to score Norris, before Carlos Avila capped the big inning on a RBI single.
The Slammers were to scratch one last run across in the bottom of the ninth inning on a Flores single which scored Hunter Ridge, but it was too little and too late.
Hagen snagged the victory for the Crushers, allowing just a run on five hits while fanning five batters in the process. Chandler Jagodzinski and Keegan Ghidotti both tossed scoreless innings in relief, while Juan Caballero allowed a run on two hits in the ninth.
Lake Erie tallied 13 hits on the night, with eight batters hitting safely at least once, and three Crushers hit safely multiple times. Beckwith and Carlos Avila led the way offensively with three hits each, and Juan Avila added a pair of knocks. Oliver, Carlos Avila and De La Rosa drove in multiple runs.
The Crushers will return home to begin a three-game series with the Washington Wild Things on Friday night at All Pro Freight Stadium. The three-game series is the beginning of a nine-game homestand. Right-hander Colin Feldtman (0-2, 8.64) will start for the Crushers and the Wild Things will go with right-hander Trevor Foss (3-2, 2.50). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.