AVON — Bryan DeLaRosa picked the perfect time to launch his first home run of the season.
It was DeLaRosa’s two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday night that put Lake Erie in front for good as the Crushers defeated Evansville 7-3 in Frontier League play.
“Just looking for a good pitch to hit it hard,” DeLaRosa said. “Good location, put the ball in play, something good happen. It was a home run — that’s a plus — we’ll take it.
“It makes me and the guys feel really good.”
The blast put the Crushers on top 5-3 in a back-and-forth game. Evansville’s Hunter Cullen hit a two-run homer in the second inning, but Lake Erie bounced right back with two runs of its own in the bottom half.
Zach Racusin was hit with a pitch to start the inning and Emmanuel Marrero singled to left. With one out, John Cable, Lake Erie’s newest addition, muscled a broken-bat single to right to score Racusin, and DeLaRosa lofted a sacrifice fly deep to left to bring in Marrero to tie the game.
“We have a pretty good thing going right now,” said DeLaRosa, who had only five RBIs coming into the game. “The guys are being aggressive early in the count. That makes something happen for the team.”
“We kind of switched the lineup around a little bit,” manager Cam Roth said. “Took some pressure off of (Dale) Burdick and took him out of the four hole and slid him down in the sixth. We had a couple good at-bats and took advantage of some passed balls and some minor miscues and I thought (coach Emmanuel) Quilles did a good job at third base with sending some runners and putting us in position if we were able to execute it would pay off for us.”
DeLaRosa did some nice defensive work behind the plate, as well. He threw out Jack Meggs for a double play after a strikeout in the seventh inning.
“Our pitching staff is doing a really good job right now, getting ahead in the count, hitting the spots,” DeLaRosa said. “When I put fingers down, they rarely shake me off. We have a pretty good thing going.”
Four Lake Erie pitchers combined to hold Evansville to two earned runs on seven hits. They struck out eight and walked three. Lefty Jake Repovich got the win.
Lake Erie grabbed a short-lived lead in the fourth when Burdick, who had three hits, an RBI and scored three runs, singled to left with one out and scored on a passed ball after another single from Cable.
Cable is hitting .455 in three games with Lake Erie.
The Crushers added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth on Marrero’s double, Burdick’s single and a two-out triple by Aaron Hill.
“I think the rainout (Thursday) mentally helped everyone out,” Burdick said. “We put up seven runs, 12 hits. DeLa picked me up. I made a costly error but he picked me up with that two-run home run.”