Max Casper is just a big kid playing the game he loves. Whether he's in the field, at the plate or in the dugout, the Crushers' second baseman always seems to be having the time of his life. He has since settled in as the Crushers leadoff hitter and second baseman, and the IBI's Matt Lofgren has the story.
After winning five in a row, Lake Erie dropped a tough one to Schaumburg Saturday night 11-4 to move to 15-17 on the season, but remain 5.5 games out of first place. Lake Erie got off to a hot start at the plate, taking a 2-run lead in the first compliments of a Daniel Bowman bases clearing double that scored Anderson Hidalgo and Andrew Davis.
It was another roller coaster of a week for Lake Erie with flashes of greatness followed quickly behind by struggles as the Crushers went 2-4 over the stretch. It's no secret now, the Crushers' pitching has been the biggest disappointment to the team all season long. With several moves made by the organization shipping pitchers out and bringing new guys in, the team is at a loss. Matt Lofgren chips in with his notebook on the week that was for the Crushers.
Jumping on Rockford early and often, Lake Erie salvaged a weekend series with the Aviators with an 8-4 win on Sunday. After struggling all series long with the team's pitching, starter Alex Kaminsky came out and gave the Crushers a strong outing going seven innings and holding the Aviators to three runs on seven hits.
Lake Erie (10-16) dropped a wild one to Rockford (6-19) Saturday night with a final score of 18-17 in 13 innings. No lead was safe for either team as the Aviators finally got the winning run across in the bottom of the 14th off Dave Middendorf well into the morning.
Lake Erie dropped its second game in a row Friday, falling to Rockford (5-19) to a final score of 5-2. Starter Matt Rein, who had been strong in his last few outings, struggled in spurts on Friday. Letting in a pair of runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the sixth, Rein pitch 5.2 innings and was handled the loss.
Lake Erie's offense was shut down by Washington Sunday as the Crushers (9-12) could not complete the sweep, losing 6-1. Winners of three out of its last four games, the common denominator for Lake Erie's success was strong pitching mixing with solid run support. But Sunday, neither was the case.
Russell Moldenhauer powered Lake Erie with two opposite field home runs and four RBIs as the Crushers earned back-to-back wins with a 6-5 win over Washington (Pennsylvania) on Friday to get back on track.
Joliet's bats proved to be too powerful as the Slammers jumped on Lake Erie (6-9) early and never looked back on their way to a 9-5 win Sunday and a series victory. Lake Erie starter Matt Rein (1-2) was in for a rude welcoming as he wasn't even able to make it to the third inning.
River City completed a three game series sweep of Lake Erie Sunday night in Missouri with a 2-1 victory over the Crushers. Despite getting another solid performance from its starting pitching, the Crushers bats hit, but could not come up with runs.
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