The Freedom score seven times in the seventh inning to pull ahead of the Crushers
Avon, OH. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, fell to the Florence Freedom, 8-3 on Tuesday night, as the Freedom scored seven times in the seventh inning, all with two outs, while Crushers starter Jordan Kraus (2-4) pitched four perfect innings, not allowing a run until the sixth inning.
With the loss, the Crushers (17-21) are 3-7 over their previous 10 home games. The Freedom (13-26) have now won four of their last five games, overall.
The game was a pitcher's duel until the sixth inning, and the Freedom were able to break the scoreless tie. Travis Weaver led off the top of the sixth inning for the Freedom with a soft groundball to third base. Crushers' third baseman, Eric Grabe, tried to make the barehanded play but the ball bounced past him. With two outs, Taylor Oldham slapped an RBI single to center field, scoring Weaver from second base.
Florence's offense exploded in the seventh inning, pulling ahead of the Crushers. Isaac Wenrich reached first base on a fielder's choice. Collins Cuthrell was out at second base on the play, marking the second out in the inning. Weaver and Andre Merculio hit back-to-back singles, with Merculio's single plating Wenrich. Kraus would leave the game, but the two-out hits would continue. Connor Reed entered the game for the Crushers, and walked Daniel Fraga before giving up a triple to Oldham, which scored two more. Austin Newell hit an RBI single and Andrew Godbold singled to continue the inning. Richard Seigel, the tenth batter of the inning, would then smack a two-run double to right field. The Freedom led after the top of the seventh inning, 8-0.
Lake Erie's offense came to life in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bryan De La Rosa reached on an error committed by the shortstop, Weaver. Marquis Riley singled to left and Parker Norris hit a two-out, two-run double to left field. The Crushers still trailed, 8-2 after seven innings.
The Men of Crush would add another run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Brendan Costantino walked, moved to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a wild pitch and came home to score on a groundout to second by Grabe.
Kraus picked up his fourth loss of the season, but looked strong early in the game. He retired the first 12 hitters he faced before hitting a batter in the fifth inning. Kraus went 6.2 innings, giving up six hits, allowing four runs, while striking out three batters. Connor Reed struggled to get the final out in the seventh inning. He allowed four earned runs on four hits. Jordan McCoy pitched two scoreless innings.
Davis Adkins (2-0) pitched very well in his second start of the season. He went six, shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out six Crushers. Tony Vocca gave up two runs, zero earned and Jeremy Hutchison allowed one earned run out of the bullpen.
Justin Byrd went 1-4 with a double in his Crushers debut. Jose Barraza hit his tenth double of the season and went 2-4 on the night. This was the first game for the Crushers under the new manager, Cameron Roth.
The Crushers will take on the Freedom again at All Pro Freight Stadium on Wednesday. The Crushers will start right-hander Justin Sinibaldi (0-1, 6.75). The Freedom will be starting righty Jeremy Gooding (2-4, 4.21). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.