Traverse City D. Lake Erie Crushers, 6-3
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, saw an early 3-0 lead disappear on Sunday afternoon at Sprenger Health Care Stadium as they surrendered five runs in the eighth inning and fell to the Traverse City Beach Bums, 6-3.
The loss for the Crushers (16-23) spoiled what would have been their first sweep of the season, while the win for the Beach Bums (17-21) snapped a three-game losing streak.
Lake Erie's offense threatened but came up empty in the first two innings of the contest, before cashing in with a trio of runs in the bottom of the third. L.J. Kalawaia started the inning with a walk and advanced to second on Jordan Dean's single to left. Cody Lenehan followed with a RBI double to right, scoring Kalwaia and giving the Crushers a 1-0 lead. Austin O'Brien brought Dean home later in the inning on a RBI groundout and Connor Oliver produced the final run of the inning with a two-out RBI single to center to score Lenehan.
Connor Reed began the game with four no-hit innings, facing the minimum during that stretch while allowing just one batter to reach, until the Beach Bums scored their first run in the top of the fifth. Will Kengor broke up the no-hit bid with a double to lead off the inning, and scored later in the frame on a two-out RBI single to left from Nick Murphy.
The wheels came off for the Crushers in the top of the eighth inning. The five-run rally for the Beach Bums began with a solo homer from John Montgomery, cutting the deficit to one (3-2). The Beach Bums recorded just two hits through the rest of the inning, but plated four runs to take the lead.
Nick Murphy followed Montgomery's homer with a single, ending Reed's afternoon. Seth Lucio (1-1) came in to replace Reed, and issued a walk to Jeff DeBlieux. After getting Brook Clark to fly out for the second out of the inning, Lucio then issued three straight walks, two of those were bases loaded free passes to Josh Hauser and Steven Patterson to give the Beach Bums a 4-3 lead. Kengor followed with a two-run single to center, capping the big inning.
Devin Over (2-0) tossed a pair of scoreless innings in relief to pick up the victory for the Beach Bums, while Enrique Oquendo (1) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get his first save of the season. Reed pitched very well, allowing three runs on four hits while fanning seven over 7.1 innings but did not factor into the decision. Lucio took the loss after allowing three runs on four free passes over a third of an inning.
Seven Crushers hit safely at least once on the night, with Brandon Murray and Oliver leading the way with two hits each.
The Crushers are off on Monday but will begin a three-game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood, Ill. on Tuesday evening. Right-hander Payton Lobdell (2-4, 8.41) will make the start for the Crushers. The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.
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