Tough Start

Tough start
Crushers fall to Miners, 12-4 in 2018 opener
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MARION, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, allowed 12 runs on 17 hits in the 2018 season opener on Friday night, and fell to the Southern Illinois Miners, 12-4.

The loss for the Crushers (0-1) marked the third time that they've lost their season opener over the last four years, while the Miners (1-0) have now won their last four season openers.

After three scoreless innings of action, Lake Erie was able to fire the first shot in the top of the fourth inning, which began with a double from Sean Hurley. Hurley made his way to third on Connor Simonetti's single before Brady Conlan grounded into a 6-4-3 double play which allowed Hurley to score.

The lead did not last long, as they Miners struck for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead and they never looked back. Nolan Early drove in the first run with a RBI double before a wild pitch, a bases loaded walk and a sacrifice fly brought in the final three runs of the inning.

A two-out error allowed the Miners to score another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 5-1 advantage, before the Crushers fought back with a pair of runs in the sixth. Conlan started the two-out rally as he was hit by an 0-2 pitch, and came home a few moments later on Dane Hutcheon's RBI triple. Bryan DeLaRosa responded with a run scoring double to plate Hutcheon, bringing the Crushers back within two (5-3).

As it turned out, that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. The Miners posted back-to-back three-run frames in the sixth and seventh innings to pull away. The Crushers scratched one more run across in the top of the seventh. Cameron Newell started the inning with a walk, and came around to score on Simonetti's two-out RBI single.

Donald Murray (0-1) took the loss for the Crushers, allowing four runs on seven hits while fanning three and walking four over 3.1 innings of work. Robby Rowland (1-0) scored the victory for the Miners, after surrendering a trio of runs on seven hits and struck out five over six innings of action.

Simonetti, Hutcheon and DeLaRosa paced the Crushers with two hits each.

The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Southern Illinois Miners in Marion, Ill., on Saturday night. Right-hander Franderlin Romero (0-0, 0.00) will get the start for the Crushers and the Miners will counter with right-hander Kurt Heyer (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.