AVON, Ohio. — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, moved back to .500 on the season on Tuesday afternoon. Behind a strong performance from the pitching staff, the Crushers opened the home campaign with a 2-1 win over the Normal CornBelters (1-3). Lake Erie (2-2) got just enough offense, courtesy of a two-run home run by Kevin Lachance and the bullpen put up four scoreless innings to wrap it up.
Lake Erie handed the ball to Sean Renzi (1-0, 1.80 ERA) and he set the tone early, striking out five in the first three innings.
The Crushers opened the scoring in the third inning against Normal starter Kevin Matthews (0-1). Aaron Hill led off with a single and advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt by Cameron Newell. Lachance was next and after falling behind in the count, he drove a ball over the wall in right-center, making it 2-0.
Normal answered back in the fourth with a run on a RBI single by Andrew Godbold. With runners on the corners, Renzi induced a fly ball to end the threat.
The CornBelters tried to get something going in the fifth but Renzi picked up his eighth strikeout of the game to end the inning. The right-hander went five innings and allowed just the one run on four hits.
The bullpen took over from there, just as it did on Sunday. Max Biedrzycki, Branden Nunn, Richard McWilliams, and Dalton Geekie combined for four scoreless innings. McWilliams struck out the side in the eighth. The bullpen as a whole allowed just two hits and struck out seven. Geekie also earned his second save of the year.
Sean Hurley finished 2-3 with a couple of doubles and Hill also continued his hot start with a couple of hits.
Lake Erie will send lefty Nick Deeg (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the hill tomorrow while the CornBelters turn to Jacinto Garcia (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Game time is set for 11:05 AM. Game three will be on Thursday at the same time.
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.