Crushers use four-run third to avoid sweep
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers avoided a three-game sweep on opening weekend, as they scored four times in the third inning of Sunday's game at All Pro Freight Stadium, and defeated the Southern Illinois Miners, 5-2.
The win for the Crushers (1-2) snapped a five-game losing streak against the Miners (2-1), and was their first win at home since Aug. 24, 2014.
For the first time in the series, the Crushers fired the first shot, as they scored four times in the bottom of the third inning to take the lead, and they never looked back. Frank Desico started the inning with a double down the line in left, and he scored the first run of the game on Anderson Hidalgo's RBI single through the left side of the infield. Joey Burney followed with a towering three-run homer over the wall in right, to give the Crushers a 4-0 lead.
While the Crushers never trailed at any point throughout the contest, the Miners were able to stay well within striking distance. They plated their first run of the game in the top of the fourth inning, on a two-out RBI single from Marquis Riley.
Lake Erie had an opportunity to blow the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth inning, as they had the bases loaded with nobody out, but could only scratch one run across. Nick Zaharion bounced into a 5-4-3 double play, and Burney scored on the play.
The Miners scored one final time in the top of the eighth inning, before the game went into a 29-minute rain delay. Shortly before the delay, Niko Vasquez belted a RBI single to left, scoring Michael Earley in the process.
Brad Duffy (1-0) replaced Peter Gehle, who started the game, in the top of the fifth inning, and he hammered down the final out of the frame with runners on second and third, retiring the only batter he faced to score the victory. Trevor Longfellow (1) scored the save after tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless relief. Miguel Ramirez (0-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits over five innings.
The Crushers had more runs and hits on Sunday than they had in the first two games of the series combined. Five Crushers hit safely twice in the contest. Trevor Stevens, Burney, Jose Barraza, Ty Nelson, and Desico all hit safely twice.
The Crushers are off on Monday, but will begin a three-game series with the Joliet Slammers at Silver Cross Field in Joliet, Ill., on Tuesday night. Righty Hunter Adkins (0-0, 0.00) will throw for the Crushers and the Slammers will counter with right-hander David Kubiak (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
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 14 teams operating throughout the Midwest. Season tickets for the 2015 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.
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