Early blunders lead to fifth straight loss
JOLIET, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, committed three errors and surrendered seven runs in the first two innings of Friday night's game at Silver Cross Field, as they fell into an early hole they couldn't climb out of, in a 10-3 loss to the Joliet Slammers.
For the Crushers (16-19) the loss extends their season worst losing streak to five games, while the victory for the Slammers (22-15) was their ninth in their last 10 games at home.
Joliet hit three homers on the night and took advantage of three Lake Erie errors, while the Crushers stranded 10 base runners on the evening. During their five-game losing streak, the Crushers have never held a lead at any point in any one of those contests.
In the bottom of the first, Charlie White singled, then Alfredo Rodriguez reached on Jose Barraza's error at first, putting runners at the corners. Rodriguez was eventually caught stealing second, but as he was thrown out, White scored on the play.
Marc Flores walked to start the bottom of the second, and Jake Gronsky reached on Max Casper's error at short. Two batters later, they both scored on Melvin Rodriguez's two-run single to center. Casey Fletcher then singled, before White reached on Barraza's error at first. With two outs and the bases loaded, former Crusher Boo Vazquez broke the game open with his first of two homers on the night, a Grand Slam that hit the foul pole in right.
The Crushers were able to chip away at the lead in the top of the third, as they scored twice on a trio of doubles. Mike Devine's first of two hits on the night was a double to right-center, and he came around to score on Barraza's two-out RBI double to left. Eric Grabe followed Barraza's two-out, RBI two-bagger with one of his own, cutting the Joliet lead to five (7-2).
Lake Erie put another run on the board in the top of the fourth, with their third two-out RBI hit of the night. Bryan De La Rosa doubled to start the inning, and scored on Devine's two-out RBI single to center, bringing the deficit down to four (7-3), but that was as close as they could get.
Joliet used the long ball to add to their advantage in the bottom of the fifth. Vazquez went deep again, hitting a solo homer to right, and two batters later, Flores belted a two-run bomb to right, bringing in the final runs of the game.
Spencer Medick (4-0) scored the victory for the Slammers, allowing three runs on nine hits over eight innings of action. In his Crusher debut, Justin Sinibaldi (0-1) took the loss, allowing five runs, only one earned on four hits over 1.1 innings of work.
Lake Erie had nine hits on the night, and six Crushers hit safely at least once. Grabe led the way offensively, going 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, and Devine went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI as well.
The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the Joliet Slammers on Saturday night. The Crushers have not announced their starter, and the Slammers will go with right-hander Shane Bryant (1-0, 1.50). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.