Men of Crush
The Crushers score five runs in the ninth inning to pull away and win the series with Otters
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, took down the Evansville Otters, 11-3 on Thursday night, putting seven runs on the board between the eighth and ninth inning and win the series.
With the win, the Crushers (27-28) win the season series with the Otters, 4-2, and end the road trip with three wins and three losses. The Otters (32-24) have now lost three of their last four games overall and fall to 16-12 at Bosse Field.
The Crushers scored first in this game, as they had in every game of the series. In the second inning, Nick Covello walked and moved to second base as R.J. Devish hit a groundball to the pitcher. Parker Norris then singled, moving Covello to third base. Connor Oliver came up next and hit a ball down the first base line, scoring both Covello and Norris. Oliver slid safely into third but Josh Allen's throw went past the third baseman, Christopher Riopedre. Oliver got up and ran home, capping the three run inning.
The Otters first got on the board in the fourth inning. Allen and Rolando Gomez hit back-to-back to start the inning. With Allen on third base, a passed ball by Crushers' catcher, Jose Barraza allowed him to score.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Denzel Richardson singled and then Chris Sweeney walked. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. With both runners in scoring position, Kaeo Aliviado hit a single to right field, scoring two runs and making it a one-run game (4-3).
The Crushers added a few runs of insurance in the eighth inning. Grabe hit his second double of the game down the left field line. Seigel then singled, moving Grabe to third base. Seigel moved to second on a wild pitch before Covello hit a line drive to the shortstop, Gomez, who dropped the ball allowing Covello to get to first and Grabe to score. Seigel scored on a throwing error by Gomez.
In the ninth inning, the Crushers pulled away from the Otters. Andrew Potter entered to pitch for Evansville. Potter walked Norris and Casper. With one out, Barraza doubled to right-center field, scoring both Norris and Casper. Grabe singled, moving Barraza to third base. Grabe moved to second and Barraza scored on a wild pitch. Still with one out, Seigel and Sean Hurley walked to load the bases. Grabe scored on Covello's RBI single to right field. Justin Byrd then hit a sacrifice fly, which scored Seigel. The Crushers five run ninth inning put the Crushers up, 11-3.
Stetson Nelson (3-4) started the game for the Crushers and picked up the win. He went 6.2 innings allowing 10 hits but only three runs. Keegan Ghidotti went 1.1 innings allowing a hit and striking out one Otter hitter. Chandler Jagodzinski pitched the bottom of the ninth inning, striking out one.
Preston Olson (3-2) went six innings as the starter for Evansville. He picked up the loss as he gave up six hits and four runs, three earned runs. Ken Frosch pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 2 unearned runs. Tyler Thompson went .2 of an inning and Potter went .1 of an inning, allowing five runs on three hits and four walks. Shane Weedman got the final two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
The first five hitters for the Crushers had nine hits. Grabe went 3-5 extending his on-base streak to six consecutive games. Seigel went 2-3 and Barraza went R.J. Devishing his on-base streak to 14 straight games. R.J. Devish made his Crusher debut, but left the game in the fourth inning after being hit in the head by a pitch.
Lake Erie will come back home and take on the Normal CornBelters at All Pro Freight Stadium on Friday night. The Crushers will start right-hander Steven Hagen (3-3, 1.63). The CornBelters starting pitcher is going to be righty Mike Schweiss (4-4, 2.93). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.