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Lake Erie Crushers

Frontier League: Crushers return home, lose to Southern Illinois

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    Crushers pitcher Oriel Caicedo (25) pitches during a game against the Southern Illinois Miners on Friday, July 20.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Crushers' third baseman Dane Hutcheon (18) makes a stop during a game against the Southern Illinois Miners on Friday, July 20.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Crushers' center fielder Dalton Wheat (10) makes a stop and fires for the in field during a game against the Southern Illinois Miners on Friday, July 20.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Crushers' first baseman Dustin Williams (17) loses control of a ball thrown from third baseman Dane Hutcheon on Friday, July 20 as Southern Illinois Miners' John Holland (19) crosses first base safely and rounds for second.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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AVON — After a solid road trip following the All-Star break, the Crushers crashed back to earth in an 8-2 loss to Southern Illinois at Sprenger Stadium on Friday night.

Miners’ starting pitcher Kurt Heyer was dominant, scattering six hits over eight innings and holding Lake Erie to just one late run. He improved to 5-5 — 2-0 against the Crushers.

Lake Erie (31-27) got its other run in the bottom of the ninth, a solo home run from Doug Trimble off reliever Michael Starcovich.

Former Atlanta Braves farmhand Oriel Caicedo, making his first start in a Crushers’ uniform, kept the team in the game by allowing two runs through five innings, but Southern Illinois (26-28) broke it open with four runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.

Lake Erie won five games on its recent seven-game road trip to open the second half of the Frontier League season, but couldn’t find an answer for Heyer, who struck out nine and walked two.

“I saw a very bad Lake Erie approach at the plate,” Crushers manager Cameron Roth said. “Especially against a guy that lasted 2 2/3 innings his last two starts. You can’t take anything away from the kid … he threw the ball well. He bounced back and was able to get it together.”

Of the Crushers’ nine strikeouts, four were on called third strikes.

“When you are eight or nine-years-old, 10-years-old and first get into Little League, the first thing your coach tells you is that you’ve got to protect the plate with two strikes,” Roth said. “We do an awful job of that. We do not protect anything. If we were playing cricket, we’d lose a lot. It’s just something that we have to do better at. You know you’re in the Frontier League, you know the umpire’s zone and you know what he’s going to do leading to his calls.

“It’s his time to shine on a called third strike. When else is he going to shine?”

Caicedo gave up five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked three.

“I thought Caicedo threw the ball well for us,” Roth said. “It was the first time I saw him. Three walks … he’s got 450 innings and he walks 90 people and he walked three guys tonight. That was a little weird to me. First time out in a little bit, first time on turf. I can assess that leading to the walks, but I was actually pretty impressed with him. He kept us in position to win the baseball game.”

Heyer said he took a simple approach against the Crushers’ lineup.

“I wanted to establish the (strike) zone by attacking them early,” he said. “I go to my next stuff if they start hitting it and (catcher) Chance (Shepard) did a great job sticking to our plan. We stayed aggressive, in and out, and threw in an off-speed pitch when we needed it.”

Dane Hutcheon and Aaron Hill had two hits each for the Crushers. Nolan Early had four hits, including three doubles, for the Miners while Joe Dudek homered, doubled and drove in three.

Notes

  • The Crushers moved Cameron Newell to the 60-day disabled list Thursday. Kewby Meyer, who suffered a hamstring injury on the road trip, was put on the 14-day disabled list.
  • The Crushers have lost five of their last six at home.
  • Southern Illinois had lost nine of its previous 10 games heading into last night.
Contact Mike Perry at 440-329-7135 or macsportstalk@gmail.com.

Southern Illinois 8, Lake Erie 2

S. Illinois Lake Erie

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Duncan 6 0 3 1 Hutcheon 4 0 2 0

Cortina 4 1 0 0 Hill 4 0 2 0

Earley 5 1 4 0 McKeithan 4 0 0 0

Shepard 4 0 0 0 Lenahan 4 0 0 0

Davis 3 1 0 0 Trimble 3 1 1 1

Dudek 5 2 2 3 Williams 3 0 0 0

Bragg 5 1 1 0 Hurley 3 0 1 0

Dutto 4 1 1 0 DeLaRosa 3 1 1 0

Willsey 3 1 1 2 Wheat 2 0 0 1

Totals 39 8 12 6 Totals 30 2 7 2

S. Illinois 000 200 402 — 8 12 0

Lake Erie 000 000 011 — 2 7 2

LOB — Southern Illinois 12, Lake Erie 4. 2B — Duncan, Earley 3, Dudek, Hill. 3B — De La Rosa. HR — Dudek, Trimble. CS — Cortina, Hill. E — Hutcheon, McKeithan

IP H R ER BB SO

Normal

Heyer (W, 5-5) 8 6 1 1 2 9

Starcevich 1 1 1 1 0 2

Lake Erie

Caicedo (L, 0-1) 5 5 2 1 3 3

Nunn 11⁄3 2 4 4 3 2

Watts 12⁄3 2 0 0 1 0

Hasler 1 3 2 2 0 1

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