AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, beat the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park Friday night, by a score of 8-7 to win the first game of the three-game series.
The win for the Crushers (5-2) is their third win in the last four game, while the Wild Things (2-6) lose their second consecutive game.
The Crushers had to rely on the bullpen early in this game. A total of six Lake Erie pitchers threw in the game. Greyfer Eregua started the game but was replaced after throwing 1.0 inning where he gave up one hit and struck out one batter. Chris Pennell came in for relief and threw 3.0 innings and gave up three earned runs off of six hits and struck out two of the Wild Things batters he faced. Michael Stryffeler threw 1.2 innings giving up one un-earned run off one hit, walked two, and struck out two Washington batters. Augie Gallardo continued his impressive start to the summer as he only gave up two hits and struck out three batters over 1.1 innings of work. Ivan Vieitez (1-0) earned his first win of the Summer in his first game played for the Crushers. Vieitez threw 1.0 inning where he gave up three earned runs, walked one, and struck out one of the batters he faced. Seth Lucio (3) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the Summer.
The Lake Erie Crushers offense continued to swing the bat well in this one. In the top of the first inning, Aaron Hill led off the game with a double. Emmauel Marrero would then put Lake Erie on the board first with a two-run homerun to give the Crushers an early 2-0 lead. In the top of the third, the Crushers added an un-earned run when Zach Racusin reached on an error made by JJ Fernandez. The error allowed Marrero to score and make the score 3-0.
Washington got on the board in the bottom half of the third inning when Saige Jenco hit a two-run home run to put the Wild Things within a run. The Crushers offense answered quickly with a run when Steven Kraft hit his first homerun of the Summer in the top of the fourth. In that same frame, Marrero hit an RBI single to make the score 5-2. Shaine Hughes hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit by one. In the bottom of the fifth, Wander Franco reached on an error made by Marrero. He would go on to score and put the Wild Things within a run. In the top of the sixth, the Crushers added two more runs and road the 7-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Wild Things scored three runs to tie the game when JJ Fernandez hit a two-out RBI single then a batter later Hector Roa hit a two RBI double.
Zach Strecker (0-1) is credited with the loss as he came in to pitch for Washington in the top of the ninth. Strecker hit the first batter he faced, walked Jake Veith, struck out Bodie Bryan and then walked Dane Hutcheon to load the bases. With one out Steven Kraft hit an RBI single to put the Crushers ahead 8-7. Lucio would come in to pitch in the ninth and shut the door on the Wild Things.
The Crushers will continue their three-game series with the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park in Washington, PA on Saturday night. Left-hander Pat Ledet will take the mound for the Crushers. While the Wild Things put right-hander Frank Valentino on the bump. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.