Two days ago, designated hitter Anderson Hidalgo was on the suspended list for the Crushers. Thursday night, he drove in what was ultimately the game winning run with a bases-loaded single with nobody out in the top of the fourth inning as the Crushers (3-3) went on to beat the Miners (3-3) by a score of 3-1.
Both teams fought until the very end, and even then, manager Jeff Isom kept fighting. First baseman Russell Moldenhauer was originally called safe by the first base umpire on an infield single, but after a chit chat with Miners manager Mike Pinto and a conference with the rest of the crew, he changed the call. Moldenhauer was out and the game was over. The Crushers fell to the Southern Illinois Miners 7-6 in seven innings in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader. The Crushers were able to win game two 6-3, salvaging a split on the night.
Lake Erie struggled to get runners across again on Sunday night in a 6-1 loss to Gateway to lose the opening weekend series. Mustering up just four runs in three games, the Crushers bats were very much alive Sunday with seven hits, but a lack of run production again plagued the team.
Rookie Seth Granger (Grawn-Jay) picked the perfect time to get his first professional hit in the bottom of the 12th inning for a walk-off victory over Gateway Saturday night in Avon. Pulling a ball that was misplayed by Gateway's Jon Myer, Lake Erie's Daniel Bowman, who had doubled earlier in the inning, put on the jets while rounding third and crossed home plate for a 2-1 Crushers victory.
Lake Erie's ninth inning comeback fell one run short as the Crushers fell to the Gateway Grizzlies 3-2 on opening night at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon. In front of 2,938 local baseball fans, the Crushers put up a fight all game long but could not overcome the dominant start by Gateway's Tim Brown.
The Crushers are ready to start the regular season after two weeks of spring training. They will be taking on the Gateway Grizzlies in the home opener tonight, and will be doing so with an almost entirely different roster. Just as with any offseason in the Frontier League, the Crushers’ roster faced a lot of turnover as only seven of the ten players in camp from last season made the final roster. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara previews the 2013 version of the Lake Erie Crushers...
Manager Jeff Isom and his 24 Lake Erie Crushers players will drive up to All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon Friday, just like they have for the past two weeks. They will loosen their arms, stretch and listen to music. Just like they have for the past two weeks. But unlike the past two weeks, the team will take the field at 7:05 in front of a packed house on fireworks night to welcome baseball back to the community.
Avon, OH is just a 30 minute drive down I-90 west from downtown Cleveland, but the Frontier League is just about as far away as a player can be from Major League Baseball while still playing the game professionally. The IBI's Kyle Ferrara has the story on how the Crushers players hope for a chance to get into affiliated ball.
There are two groups of players that find themselves in the Frontier League, those who were undrafted coming out of college looking for their first opportunity with affiliated baseball, and those who have been cut from a major league affiliate like Sanchez. Both groups have the same desire and dedication to making it to the big leagues.
Manager Jeff Isom has seen five exhibition games and the future of the Crushers for the upcoming season is starting to take shape less than a week away from the start of the season. On Sunday, Isom had to have his roster marked down from 36 players to 28 after what he called some of the toughest decisions he has had to make as a manager.
No one said baseball was easy, and for the 36 guys fighting for 24 spots on the Crushers' final roster, one opportunity can't be wasted manager. Players are being put through the gauntlet with 15 straight days of practices and games leading up to the first game of the season on May 17. As the 36 man roster is whittled down to 24 players by the start of the season, Crushers' manager Jeff Isom talks about how tough it is to make changes this early in camp.
The IBI's Matt Lofgren woke up Sunday morning a little bit earlier than usual with the anticipation of playing organized baseball for the first time in six years and the chance of doing something great. Getting out of bed was no issue as he loosened up and stretched out for the Lake Erie Crushers' tryout day.
Baseball has returned to All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon with the official start of Lake Erie Crushers spring training under first-year head coach Jeff Isom. After spending the past six years coaching in the Milwaukee Brewers' organization, Isom is back in the Frontier League for the first time since 2006 and said he is working to get another championship back to Avon.
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!