AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, scored four unanswered runs in the top of the ninth inning in Washington to beat the Wild Things 5-2 in game one.
The Crushers (19-18) comeback on the road for the second time this month with the win. While the Wild Things (16-24) snap a four-game winning streak with the loss.
Jared Koenig started for Lake Erie and pitched a gem. Koenig threw 6.0 innings, gave up two earned runs off of seven hits, walked one, and struck out seven. With his seven strike outs tonight, Koenig has struck out an impressive 56 batters over his 40.0 innings thrown this season. Dalton Geekie (1-1) earned the win after he threw a scoreless eighth inning of relief. Zach Strecker (0-2) is credited with the loss after he gave up four runs in the top of the ninth inning.
The scoring started in the top of the first for the Crushers. Starting pitcher for the Wild Things, Michael Austin, walked Steven Kraft to lead off the inning. Austin then hit Aaron Hill with a pitch and walked Emmanuel Marrero to load the bases. Zach Racusin hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game.
The 1-0 lead for Lake Erie lasted until the bottom of the third. Washington started off the inning with back-to-back singles hit off Koenig. Cameron Baranck scored off an RBI single from Brett Marr to tie the game. It was a tie game until Washington took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning with an RBI single from Cody Erickson.
The Wild Things led 2-1 until the last and final inning. Down to their final two outs, Lake Erie rallied to score four runs to take a commanding 5-2 lead. Steven Kraft led off the inning with a single and advanced to third off a one out double from Emmanuel Marrero. With both runners in scoring position, Racusin hit an RBI single on the first pitch of his at bat to tie the game 2-2. With only one out, John Cable hit a ground ball to the first baseman JJ Fernandez that looked like it was going to be an inning ending double play. But an error committed by Fernandez caused the ball to roll into right field allowing Marrero and Racusin to score making it a 4-2 lead. Cable then scored off a wild pitch to make it a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Logan Lombana shut the door on the Wild Things in the home half of the inning to secure the win. Throughout the game, the Crushers had multiple opportunities to score but could not capitalize. In the top of the first, second, and fifth innings Lake Erie had the bases loaded but only scored one run out of those opportunities. Going into the ninth inning, the Crushers had left 11 runners on base. To put it simply, Lake Erie snatched victory from the jaws of defeat tonight.
The Crushers will continue the three-game series with the Washington Wild Things at Consol Energy Park on Wednesday morning. Left-hander Pat Ledet (1-2, 1.97) will be on the mound for the Crushers. The Wild Things will counter with left-hander John Havird (3-2, 3.20). 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.