As the Crushers hitters continue to gain more confidence, they’re starting to get a sense that no matter the score, they’re never out of a game. That’s something that couldn’t be said just a week ago, as the offense was still stuck in its early season funk, but it was certainly true today. The Crushers trailed 3-0 in entering the bottom of the seventh, but fought their way back to win 4-3 in ten innings behind catcher Emmanuel Quiles.
The Crushers’ Tuesday night opponent was Normal. The first at-bat in the top of the ninth was anything but. CornBelters shortstop Patrick McKenna hit a routine fly ball to straight-away center, but Kevin Berard couldn’t find it and threw his arms up in disbelief as it landed well behind him, all the way back at the warning track. Despite this bizarre happening, the Crushers were able to hold on to win 4-3, as Dale Dickerson struck out the final two batters to earn his third save.
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.
The Crushers continue to get men on base, still second in the league in hitting with a .280 batting average coming into Thursday night’s game against Evansville. The problem has been getting runs across the plate. The Crushers outhit their opponent, accumulating 11 base hits verses the Otters' eight, but ultimately lost 3-2 after wasting away late scoring opportunities.
Ricardo Lizcano delivered a special birthday present to his mother today, as his home run to lead off the fifth started a four-run rally that gave the Crushers the lead for good. It was his first home run of the year. Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Lizcano’s solo home run tied the game and Andrew Davis’ three run shot to left gave the Crushers (10-13) the lead in a game they would go on to win 8-4 over Evansville (15-7).
Home plate umpire Pete Peederson frantically waved off the run at the end of the fifth inning. Leadoff man Kevin Berard lined a single to center which would have scored Juan Sanchez, but Seth Granger was thrown out trying to advance from first to third before Sanchez could touch the plate. It was that kind of night for the Crushers (9-13), who failed to cash in on scoring opportunities against Otters' starter Bryce Morrow. They managed just two runs on 13 hits as they dropped the series opener to Evansville (15-6) by a score of 9-2.
The Crushers managed another .500 week after dropping their first two games in Traverse City. From the sixth through the eighth they recorded a season high win streak of three, counting their final game in Traverse City and their first two in Washington. They are now 9-12, still in last place in the East Division. Kyle Ferrara details that week that was for the Crushers...
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.
Crushers manager Jeff Isom got exactly what he asked for following the team’s fourth consecutive loss on Wednesday night. For his team to get back to winning, he said they needed their starting pitcher to keep them in the game and their offense to score first. The team answered the call on Thursday, beating Traverse City 5-2 to improve to 7-11. Traverse City falls to 10-8 with the loss.
When Traverse City shortstop Taylor Wrenn smashed a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, the game was over. A solo home run from the Traverse City shortstop combined with a five-hit, complete game shutout from Jake Sabel led to a 1-0 Crushers loss and extended the team’s losing streak to four games.
After struggling to the tune of a 3-6 start to the season, the Crushers managed a .500 week, taking two of three from Florence and one of three from Joliet over the weekend. The team is now 6-9 on the season, but is still trying to find a level of consistency. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara shares the details in his weekly Crushers notebook.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!