Crushers Capitalize on Critical ErrorJune 20, 2012 - Frontier League (FL) Lake Erie Crushers
The Crushers won the first game of the three game series and the pivotal moment occurred when they scored three runs in the top of the second inning. Jason Taylor (1-3, B, R) worked a walk to extend his on base streak to 16 games and then Kellen Kulbacki (1-4, R) continued his hot hitting as well with a single, which set the plate for Brandon Decker (0-3, R).
Decker dropped a beautiful bunt back to Ripper starter Jamie Richmond, but Richmond's throw to first went well wide of the bag allowing Taylor to score and Kulbacki to move up to third while Decker took second. JC Figueroa (0-4) followed with an RBI groundout to second base and after Brian Erie (0-4) struck out, Adrian Ortiz (3-4, RBI, R) followed with a two out single, one of three singles for him on the night. All three runs in the inning were unearned.
The Crushers were able to add another insurance run in the top of the fifth inning when Ortiz led off with a double. After Kuzdale struck out swinging (he did not reach base tonight, thus ending his streak of 18 straight games of reaching base safely) and Ortiz stole second base, Andrew Davis (1-4, RBI) singled to left field to drive in the fourth run of the game and that was all the runs the Crushers would need.
The only scoring the Rippers were able to produce came in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a bizarre play. After Jim Vahalik (3-4) led off the inning with a single, Alex Loftin (W, 2-0, 0.82) was able to get Clifton Thomas (0-4) to fly out to center, which brought up Aaron Glom (0-2, 2 BB). On a two one fastball, Vahalik took off on a hit and run, Glaum put the ball in play towards short where Andrew Davis allowed the ball to roll under his glove. Vahalik then attempted to go to third as Kellen Kulbacki fielded the ball in short left and fired to third, but the throw sailed over the head of Brandon Decker.
Vahalik was able to score on the errant throw and Glaum, who reached initially on Davis' error, was able to make it all the way to third on the error by Kulbacki. Glaum was able to score on an RBI groundout by the next batter Matt Wright (2-3, RBI). But that was all the runs the Rippers would score.
Travis Risser and Jonathan Kountis (S, 6) combined to close out the Rippers, but not without some flair for the dramatic. Risser came on in the seventh and after allowing the bases to get full of Rippers with one out, he induced a double play by getting Tony Delmonico to bounce to short where Andrew Davis made a terrific play to his left, stepped on second and threw onto first for the twin killing.
Kountis then came on with two on and nobody out in the eighth. He immediately allowed a double to Stephen Cardullo (1-3). Cardullo then stole second, but Kountis was able to get Zach Larsen to fly out to center to end the threat.
Kountis also had trouble in the ninth inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Vahalik, got the first out of the inning on a flyball to left by Thomas, but walked just his fifth batter of the season when he issued a free pass to Glaum. With runners on first and second he threw a wild pitch, which allowed the runners to advance to second and third. With the tying run in scoring position he got Matt Wright to pop out to short on a beautiful over the shoulder catch by Davis and ended the game when pinch hitter David Christensen lined out to centerfield.
Alex Loftin grabbed the win for the Crushers as he went six strong innings, striking out four while only walking two. He allowed two runs, but both runs were unearned and he dropped his ERA to 0.82. Jamie Richmond (3-2) picked up the loss for the Rippers who fell to 13-18. Richmond went six innings as well, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits while striking out seven and only walking a single batter.
The Crushers take the field again tomorrow night for the second game of the three game series against the Rippers. On the mound for the Crushers will be Josh Rickards (1-1, 5.18) and he will be going up against Eric Katzman (1-2, 4.05) who will be on the bump for the Rippers. Game time tomorrow is 6:30 Eastern.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at All Pro Freight Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 12 teams operating throughout the Midwest. Season tickets for the 2011 season are on sale now! For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.
Frontier League Stories from June 20, 2012
- Otters Win 4-2 in 10 Innings - Evansville Otters
- Rascals' Jones Comes Through in a Pinch - River City Rascals
- Traverse City Topples Windy City for Sixth Straight Win - Traverse City Beach Bums
- Rascals Collect Walk off Win against Grizzlies - Gateway Grizzlies
- Schaumburg Drops Joliet in Series Opener - Joliet Slammers
- Boomers Rally to Win at Joliet - Schaumburg Boomers
- Wild Things Drop 4-3 Nailbiter in Extras - Washington Wild Things
- Crushers Capitalize on Critical Error - Lake Erie Crushers
- Hallahan tosses gem, but RiverHawks fall, 1-0 - Rockford RiverHawks
- Stovall, Pen Lift CornBelters 1-0 - Normal CornBelters
- Error Costs Rippers in 4-2 Loss - London Rippers
- June 20 Joliet Slammers Game Notes - Joliet Slammers
- Schaumburg Boomers Host Rockford for Three Starting June 23rd - Schaumburg Boomers
- Slammers Announce Special Ticket Deal Just for Students - Joliet Slammers
- Southern Illinois Miners Executive Vice-President/COO to Resign Position - Southern Illinois Miners
- Freedom Bobbleheads 'Tower' Above Any Other - Florence Freedom
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.