The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, got a strong pitching performance from Juan Perez (1-0) and some timely offense to salvage the series finale against the Miners on Sundayevening.
Lake Erie (1-2) took an early lead against Miners starter Geno Encina (0-1). In the first inning, Cameron Newell led off with a single and later scored on a Sean Hurley groundout (4-3). The Crushers offense added on to their lead in the second inning after Matthew Dacey doubled and later scored on an RBI double from Aaron Hill. That made it 2-0 Lake Erie.
On the mound, Perez kept the Miners offense off the board early on. In the third inning, the right-hander worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam, preserving the 2-0 lead.
The Crushers offense went back to work in the fourth inning. A one-out walk issued to Dacey and a single by Dane Hutcheon set the table for a couple of runs. Dacey scored on an RBI groundout by Bryan DeLaRosa to make it 3-0. Hutcheon later scored the fourth run of the game after a single by Hill, who went 2-4 with two RBIs in the game. Hill is now hitting .333 to start the season.
Lake Erie tacked on another run in the fifth, courtesy of an RBI double by Hurley, who also drove in two runs on Sunday night.
The Miners responded in the home half of the inning. A two-run double by John Holland made it 5-2 and then an error by Hill allowed Southern Illinois (2-1) to make it 5-3 but that would be it for the Miners.
Perez finished with five innings and three strikeouts while allowing three runs (two earned). The Crushers bullpen took over from there. Branden Nunn, Seth Lucio, and Dalton Geekie combined to throw four scoreless innings of relief. The bullpen allowed just one hit and struck out seven. Geekie picked up his first save of the season.
Lake Erie will host the Normal CornBelters in the home opener at Sprenger Stadium this coming week. Game one of the series begins on Tuesday. The Crushers will hand the ball to Sean Renzi (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is slated for 11:05 AM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care 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. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.