Crusher sweep twinbill, clear .500 mark for first time
For the first time this season, Lake Erie cleared the .500 mark by winning both seven inning games of a double header against the Frontier Greys Friday night in Avon.
Winning game one in a pitchers duel 2-1 with reliever Mickey Jannis on the hill, the Crushers held on to the momentum for a 7-2 thrashing in the second game.
Reliever Mickey Jannis got his first start of the season in game one and took his team beast 1.04 ERA and lowered it by pitching six innings and giving up one earned run on five hits.
"He's a guy that we knew what he was going to be able to do with, it takes away from the bullpen a little bit, but that's give and take," manager Jeff Isom said. "We'll have to piece that bullpen together when we do decide to put him in full time as a starter and that could be in the near future."
Jannis got help to get him to 4-0 on the season and the team to an even 24-24 with the help of some clutch hitting. After Andrew Davis knocked in a sacrifice fly, the 1-0 lead held true for Jannis until the fifth inning when he gave up a run.
In the bottom of the sixth, Anderson Hidalgo's RBI double that scored Daniel Bowman from first was the crucial difference in the game. Dale Dickerson slammed the door in the seventh for his eighth save of the season.
"Hidalgo has been a guy that has been outstanding for us in key situations, he continues to deliver that knockout blow, if you will, tonight was no different," Isom said. "Get that one run lead and then all of the sudden you bring in Dickerson, whose been throwing the ball very well, I think, up to that time, it was his third save in four games, so he's throwing the ball well for us."
Between games, the fans at All Pro Freight Stadium broke a Guinness world record with the most people, 1,535, flossing on the same piece of floss at the same time on a 10,000 ft. stand of floss.
After the fans cleared the way, it was time for the first Lorain County native to take the hill in front of a home crowd. Lake Erie College graduate and Vermillion native Adam Beach joined the team for Friday's game and he shined in front of a big cheering section.
Beach started the game and a great outing was almost out of mind within the first three batters he gave up a hit and then a long home run to fall behind 2-0. But after that, Beach did not give up another run, nor another hit as he went on to pitch five innings, stuck out four and gave up just the two runs.
"I came here like two weeks ago and threw a bullpen and they never asked me back, then a couple days ago they called me and said 'hey, do you want to come start?'," Beach said. "I said absolutely, it's everybody's dream to play pro ball,"
With a large crowd at the Freight of 3,221, it would be fair to say a good chunk of those fans were there to root on Beach in his debut.
"I really don't just play for myself, I play for them too," Beach said. "They've played with me since I was five, playing catch with my dad in the backyard, now I'm here throwing for everybody."
The Crushers went on to put up seven runs, but it was the Greys' pitching that supplied the most runs for the Lake Erie offense. On the night, the Greys walked in three runs and balked in a run.
"Getting down 2-0, we're not a team that comes from behind very well it seems like, but right away took advantage of an ineffective pitcher," Isom said. "It was wild, took some walks and got ourselves in a position to retake that lead and Beach settled in and did a nice job for us."
In his pro debut, Beach earned a victory and a crucial win for the team as just two games remain before the all star break.
"We'll take a double header anyway we can get it," Isom said. "We came out and played with some energy and I thought that was the big difference between the two teams, so that was good to see from our side."