AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, lost the second game of the three-game series with the Southern Illinois Miners at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, by a score of 5-3.
The loss for the Crushers (3-2) was their second of the season, while the Miners (2-3) bounce back from the game one loss on Tuesday afternoon.
Alex Romero was on the bump for the Crushers for his second start of the season. In his second start, Romero threw 7.0 innings giving up two earned runs off of four hits, while walking two and striking out seven Southern Illinois batters. Chase Cunningham was the starter for the Miners and threw 7.0 innings giving up three earned runs off of six hits, while walking two and striking out five Crushers batters.
These two teams traded shots like two prized fighters throughout the entire game. Southern Illinois jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after a one-out homerun from Brett Siddall in the top of the first inning. The Crushers answered back in the bottom of the second with two runs of their own. The first run came off the bat of Emmanuel Marrero who launched a two-out homerun over the right field fence. Sebastian Diaz followed Marrero's homerun with a double of his own and was then hit in by an RBI single from Bryan De La Rosa. The Miners answered with a run of their own in the top of the fourth inning courtesy of a two-out RBI single from Andy Cosgrove. Then the Crushers regained the lead 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single from Dale Burdick. But that lead would not last long as with one out in the top of the seventh Anthony Brocato tied the game with one swing as he sent a homerun over the right-centerfield fence. From there the game was tied until the ninth inning. In the top of the ninth inning, an untimely error is what cost the Crushers the game. Chris Iriart lead off the inning by reaching on an error committed by Sebastian Diaz in right field. Brocato then plated Iriart with an RBI single that was followed by an RBI sac fly off the bat of Joe Duncan to add an insurance run and make the score 5-3.
The Crushers made it an interesting game in the bottom of the ninth. Kelvin Rodriguez came into pitch for Southern Illinois and struck out the first batter he faced, but then hit Steven Kraft with a pitch. Moments later Marrero would reach off a fielder's choice, but during the play third baseman Stephen Lohr committed a throwing error when trying to turn the double play. Lohr's throw went over Gianfranco Wawoe's head and into right field resulting in Kraft making it all the way to third. Rodriguez would then walk Diaz to have the bases loaded. Miners replaced Rodriguez with Nick Duron (1) who would get De La Rosa to hit a ground ball resulting in Kraft being thrown out at home. Duron then struck out Bodie Bryan looking to end the game, notched his first save of the season, and sealed the victory for Southern Illinois.
Gabe Gentner (1-0) was credited with the save after throwing a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning striking out two of the three batters he faced. Tanner Thomas (1-1) earned the loss after giving up one run over 1.1 innings of work.
The Crushers will continue the three-game series with the Southern Illinois Miners at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Thursday morning. Right-hander Jared Koenig will take the mound for the Crushers and the Miners will counter with righty Chase Adkins. The first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 10 teams operating throughout the Midwest. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.