Traverse City picked up a 7-3 victory Friday night in the opening game of a weekend series with Lake Erie. The Crushers fell behind early on and struggled to climb the hill back on top. Starter Alex Kaminsky earned the loss after giving up four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings of work.
The second game of the series was completed on Thursday evening, after being suspended due to rain with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Wednesday night. The Crushers were trailing 2-1 when the game was called on Wednesday, but came back to win a bizarre, 10-inning affair 3-2 on a walk-off walk from Kevin Berard.
After several days of severe storms, Lake Erie and the Frontier Greys were finally able to finish Tuesday's game, losing 6-4, but game number two of the doubled header was another rainout. In front of one of the largest crowds seen at All Pro Freight Stadium this season at 3,140, rain put everyone on hold again Wednesday.
By sweeping the Normal CornBelters to start the week, and taking two of three from the Schuamberg Boomers, the Crushers recorded their best week long record of the season, going 5-1. They also won a season high five straight games, beginning with the final game against the Rockford Aviators on June 16th.
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.
Twenty-eight batters. That’s all Matt Rein had to get through as he delivered what was without question the best performance out of a Crushers starting pitcher this season. Rein carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning as he went on to pitch a one-hit, complete game shutout and never even broke a sweat in the Crushers' easy 5-0 defeat of the CornBelters.
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.
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!