Friday, November 24, 2017 Elyria 30°


Crushers 7, Wild Things 5: Lake Erie in tie for first


AVON — Scoring early and hanging on late was Lake Erie’s theme Wednesday night at All Pro Freight Stadium.

The Crushers jumped on Washington starter Gary Lee for five runs over the first two innings and hung on for a 7-5 victory in front of 1,950 fans for their seventh straight win to climb into a tie with Traverse City for first place in the Frontier League East Division. Lake Erie has won 11 of its last 12 games.

“Scored early and held on late right there on that one,” manager Jeff Isom said. “We got off to a nice start. We had some pretty good at-bats early on. Their pitcher Gary Lee ends up settling in and shuts us down a little while but we scratched out a couple runs late. I thought that run in the bottom of the seventh after they scored two — I thought that was a big one at that time.”

Craig Hertler, Lake Erie’s leadoff hitter, pretty much got that one on his own. He led off the seventh with a bunt single that rolled dead right on the first-base line.

“It’s funny,” Hertler said. “We were up 6-0 at one time. That’s my game. I like to bunt. I wasn’t going to do it up 6-0 but they put the two runs up. When I went up there, first baseman was playing deep so I was thinking just bunt it to him and make the pitcher make a play. Luckily, it was just right on the line.”

Seth Granger’s single to right moved Hertler to third and he scored on Daniel Bowman’s sacrifice fly to right to put Lake Erie back in front by five, 7-2. Washington’s C.J. Beatty kept things interesting with a two-run homer in the eighth inning and an RBI single in the ninth.

“I like the way we came out of the gates and got that lead,” Isom said. “We were locked in from the start. We just got to make sure we do that throughout the game.”

“It sets the tone,” said Hertler. “Hitting’s contagious. First at-bat was a hit and kind of got the other guys going. We know (Lee) is around the zone, not a lot of walks. He throws strikes, so our game plan was to be aggressive.”

Hertler, who was 4-for-4 on the night, got things rolling in the bottom of the first with a single to center. He was forced at second on Granger’s fielder’s choice and Bowman grounded out to first, but Andrew Davis knocked him in with a single to right. Russ Moldenhauer doubled to the gap in left-center and both scored on Anderson Hidalgo’s single to left with Moldenhauer motoring home when Washington’s Quincy Latimore bobbled the ball.

“He caught fire when we were on the road,” Isom said of Hertler, who raised his batting average to .280. “We need to get some guys on so when you’ve got Bowman, Davis and Moldenhauer and even Hidalgo — we need to get guys on for those guys. We do that, we have a pretty potent lineup.”

In the second inning with one out, Juan Sanchez doubled to left and Hertler traded places with him with a double to left-center. Hertler flashed his speed by coming all the way around to score on Granger’s ground out to second. It appeared the throw from first baseman Nick Boggan was in time but the ball squirted loose from catcher Mario Mercedes, allowing Hertler to score the fifth run.

“Hertler’s a good runner,” Isom said. “I thought we’d take a chance. It was a close play. Fortunately, they dropped the ball. He would have been out and I would have been questioning myself. It worked out for us.”

Lake Erie starter Mickey Jannis, working on just three days rest, blanked the Wild Things through six innings before running out of gas. It was Jannis’ seventh win without defeat.

“He did a nice job,” Isom said. “He was coming on short rest the way it was. He gave everything he had.”

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135

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Lake Erie 7, Washington 5

Washington                     Lake Erie

ab    r    h    bi        ab    r    h    bi

Ijames    4    1    0       0 Hertler    4    2    4    1

Stoner    4    1    1       0 Granger    4    1    1    1

Beatty    5    1    3       3 Bowman    3    1    1    2

Latimore    4    0    0       0 Davis    4    1    1    1

Boggan       4  1      1    0     Moldenh’r    3      1   2  0

Rosa           4      1      2    0     Hidalgo        4    0      1  1

Samuelson  3      0  0    0     Mejia        4    0      0  0    Nunziato     4      0      1    2     Quiles        4    0      0  0

Mercedes    2      0      0    0     Sanchez        4       1      1  0

Kalamar      1      0      0    0

Totals       35  5   8    5 Totals      34  7 11 6

Washington    000    000    221    —    5    8    3

Lake Erie    320    010    10X    —    7    11    0

LOB—Washington 8, Lake Erie 5. 2B—Beatty, Hertler, Moldenhauer, Sanchez. 3B—Beatty. HR—Beatty, Bowman. E—Latimore, Rosa, Mercedes. DP—Washington (Beatty-Nunziato-Boggan).

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO


Lee (L,5-8)    6 2/3    10    7    6    1    0

Messner    1 1/3    1    0    0    0    1

Lake Erie

Jannis (W,7-0)    6 2/3    5    2    2    2    4

Wellander    1    2    2    2    2    1

Duffy    1/3    0    0    0    0    0

Dickerson (S,12)    1    1    1    1    0    2

HBP—Ijames (by Dickerson). PB—Quiles.

T—2:25. A—1950.

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