AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, won their seventh consecutive game to take the series with the Washington Wild Things by a final score of 5-2.
The win for the Crushers (31-24) marks their fifth straight series win. While the Wild Things (24-35) lose their sixth game out of their last 10.
Pat Ledet (4-4) earned the win as he almost went the distance in this game. Ledet was dominate again as he threw eight innings where he gave up only two runs on six hits and struck out seven. James Meeker (2-2) got the loss as he gave up three earned runs, walked two and struck out one over his third of an inning pitched. Logan Lombana (4) earned the save and secured the victory for the Crushers as he pitched a scoreless ninth.
It was a pitcher's duel for most of the game. Washington's only two runs came in the second inning. Hector Roa started off the inning with a solo homer off Ledet. JJ Fernandez followed the home run with a single to right. Ledet then got Alex Murphy to fly out for the first out. But Cody Erickson stroked a double one batter later to put runners at second and third. On the first pitch of his at-bat, Brett Marr hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Fernandez and make it 2-0. Ledet got out of the inning a batter later with a ground out.
The starter for the Washington Wild Things, Michael Austin, pitched very well against the Crushers and was in line for the win when he was taken out of the game. Austin allowed two runs on five hits, walked one and struck out three over his six innings of work. But those two runs did not come until the bottom of the sixth inning.
Austin was able to get Aaron Hill and Emmanuel Marrero out quickly for the first two outs of the bottom of the sixth inning. But Zach Racusin smoked a two out double to get the offense going. Dale Burdick then stepped in and worked himself into a 2-1 count. Austin made the mistake to try and challenge Burdick with a fastball. Burdick smashed the pitch over the left field fence for a two-run homer to tie the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lake Erie jumped all over James Meeker who came in for relief of Austin. Meeker started his outing hitting Steven Kraft with a pitch. Kraft then stole second to put himself into scoring position. Jake Vieth drew a walk after Kraft's at-bat to put runners on first and second. Meeker struck out Bryan De La Rosa for the first out of the inning but gave up an RBI double to John Cable moments later. Meeker went on to walk the next batter before he was taken out of the game. Josh Lapiana came in for relief with the bases loaded and only one out. On the second pitch of his at-bat, Marrero hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Vieth and make it a 4-2 Crushers lead. Racusin continued his impressive night and hit an RBI single to score the final run of the inning.
Logan Lombana put the nail in the coffin in the ninth inning to secure the win for Lake Erie. The win is the Crushers eighth out of their last ten and puts them three games ahead of Schaumburg for first place in the Eastern Division.
With his two-hit night, Racusin boosts his average to an impressive .311 over his 54 games played. And after his dominant performance, Ledet drops his ERA to 2.28 over his 12 starts. In his last 15 innings pitched, Ledet has given up only two runs on 10 hits, has walked one and has struck out 16.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Washington Wild Things at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Jake Repavich (4-2, 3.62) will be on the bump for the Crushers. While the Wild Things will go with righty Nick Gallagher (0-0, 9.81). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 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.