July 16, 2017 - Frontier League (FL) - Lake Erie Crushers
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, surrendered eight runs over the final three innings of Saturday night's game at Sprenger Health Care Stadium and fell to the Joliet Slammers, 11-3, in front of a crowd of 5,489.
The loss for the Crushers (23-29) was their second straight following a five game winning streak, while the victory for the Slammers (23-28) was their second in a row following a three game losing streak.
The Slammers got started in the top of the first inning, plating a pair of runs on four hits to take the lead and they never looked back. Josh Merrigan started the inning with a double and moved to third on Ridge Hoopii-Haslam's base hit. They both scored moments later on Spencer Navin's two-run single to left.
Joliet added another in the top of the fourth on a RBI double off the bat of Chaz Meadows, before the Crushers pushed their first run across in the fifth, as Sean Hurley walked with the bases loaded to bring the Crushers within two (3-1).
The Slammers pulled away by scoring five times in the seventh, sending all nine batters to the plate. Travis Bolin reached on an error to start the game, and came around to score on an errant throw from Andrew Utterback. Hoopii-Haslam brought in the next run of the inning on a RBI single to right, before Melvin Rodriguez capped the big inning with a three-run homer to right.
The Crushers were able to push their final two runs across in the bottom of the seventh. L.J. Kalawaia kept the inning alive with a two out walk, and came around to score on Jordan Dean's RBI double to left center. Dean scored a couple of pitches later on Hurley's RBI single to left.
Joliet added three more in the top of the eighth inning to completely put the game out of reach. An errant throw from Josh McAdams at third allowed the first run of the inning to score, before Merrigan and Hoopii-Haslam stroked back-to-back RBI singles to plate the final runs of the game.
Luis Ortiz (4-3) picked up the victory for Joliet, allowing just a run on three hits while fanning eight over five innings of work. Jordan Kurokawa (3-2) took the loss for the Crushers after allowing three runs on eight hits over six innings of work.
Hurley paced the Lake Erie offense with a pair of hits on the night, going 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs. Kalawaia went 1-for-4 and has now reached safely in 19 straight games.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Joliet Slammers at Sprenger Health Care Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Connor Reed (2-5, 4.53) will make the start for the Crushers and the Slammers will counter with right-hander Shane Bryant (3-4, 3.74).The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM.