AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, beat the Joliet Slammers in the rubber match 4-3 to win their first series in their last six.
The Crushers (15-14) are now only a half game back of first with the win. While the Slammers (11-19) lose their fourth game of their last six.
Pat Ledet started for Lake Erie and continued his impressive season with another strong outing. Ledet threw 6.1 innings, gave up three runs off of six hits, walked two, and struck out seven. Augie Gallardo (2-1) got the win after throwing 1.2 scoreless innings in relief. Drew Peden (0-3) gets the lost after giving up the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. Logan Lombana (1) earned his first save of the season in his first outing as he threw a scoreless ninth inning.
Both teams traded runs back and forth throughout the game. Lake Erie started the scoring in the top of the third. James Davison Jr. got the offense going with a one-out double to put himself in scoring position. With two outs, Dale Burdick stepped up for Lake Erie and hit an RBI single to score Davison Jr. and make it a 1-0 lead. With Burdick on first, Jake Vieth hit an RBI double to score Burdick and put the Crushers up by two.
The Slammers answered back in the bottom of the third with a solo home run from Jared Morello to cut the deficit in half and make it a 2-1 game. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Harrison Bragg tied the game for Joliet with an RBI single.
The score would stay tied until the top of the seventh inning when Lake Erie retook the lead. Bryan De La Rosa started the inning off with a double and advanced to third courtesy of a sacrifice bunt from Bodie Bryan. With two outs and De La Rosa on third, relief pitcher Mario Samuel threw a wild pitch past catcher Peyton Isaacson to score De La Rosa.
In the bottom of the seventh, Joliet tied the game off a wild turn of events. Chaz Meadows hit a one-out double and advanced to third after back-to-back walks issued by Augie Gallardo. With the bases loaded and one out, Gallardo struck out Riley Krane for the second out. With Isaacson up to bat, Gallardo threw a wild pitch that bounced away from De La Rosa. It did not bounce far enough to allow the runners to advance but when Gallardo came running in to cover home plate, De La Rosa's throw back to him hit the home plate umpire and kicked past Gallardo. By the time Emmanuel Marrero got to the ball, Meadows came across to score the tying run and make it a 3-3 game.
In the top of the ninth inning, Aaron Hill provided the late game magic for the Crushers. On an 0-1 count, Aaron Hill launched his fourth homer over the left field fence to put the Crushers ahead 4-3. It was also Hill's first hit of the game.
Logan Lombana came in relief for Gallardo in the bottom of the ninth for his first outing of the season. Lombana retired all three of the batters he faced with two strikeouts and a groundout to record his first save of the season.
Eight out of the nine hitters for the Crushers reached base safely today. Davison Jr. finished the day going 1-5 with a double and a run scored. Dale Burdick ended his game going 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Aaron hill's final line read 1-4 with a solo home run, while Bryan De La Rosa went 2-4 with a run scored.
The Crushers will start a three-game series with the Florence Freedom at UC Health Stadium on Friday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
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