Crushers can't overcome errors in 4-3 loss to Rockford
Lake Erie could not complete a late comeback Saturday night as errors costs the Crushers a 4-3 loss to Rockford.
After winning four games in a row at home, the Crushers streak came to a halt, despite a promising chance to get the win.
In the past two games against the Aviators, Lake Erie has committed six errors with a pair on Saturday costing the team. Playing fairly clean baseball to this point in the season, manager Jeff Isom said the errors need to stop.
"When I put this team together it was all about defense," Isom said. "Defense and pitching is going to win ball games. Hitting you'll go into slumps, but you should never go into a slump defensively, so that's what I've got to tell our guys."
"The mistakes that we made are unacceptable. We've got to do a better job and we work hard and take pride in that defense, so yeah, six errors in two games, that's not making a manager too happy."
The Crushers fell just short, but had a chance in this one to at least tie the game with the team's best hitter in the box. In the bottom of the ninth with runners on the corner, Lake Erie's longest tenured player Andrew Davis stepped in with two outs and down a run.
Davis, who earlier in the game hit his league-leading 11th home run of the year, was unable to send home Juan Sanchez from third to get the win and move over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
"We had opportunities to get those runs back and we just didn't take advantage of it, though it did get interesting at the end with Davis out there," Isom said. "Unfortunately, he didn't get it done there, that was just one of the many opportunities that we had."
Severe weather played a role in this one like it had in several games last week. Two delays, totaling an hour delay, pushed the game deep into the night as field crews had to tarp the mound twice.
Before the long delay, reliever Brian Duffy was on the hill as Isom looked for his fifth starter. In three innings of work, before a 50 minute delay, Duffy gave up three runs with just one earned due to errors.
"I thought that he did a nice job, he scouted his five hits, gave up the one earned run but right away I knew it was going to be a bullpen day today," Isom said. "In a perfect world, we told Duffy before the game 'hey give us five innings,' that's all we're asking, we're not asking for a complete game or anything like that. So he went out there and gave us an opportunity."
At the end of the day, the Crushers had their chances but simply came up empty.
"Where we're playing right now is if we make mistakes, we're going to beat ourselves and that's what happened tonight," Isom said. "You can't give up three runs there in that second inning and expect to win and then you look at the offensive side, we ended up taking eight walks and end up with five hits. We just had opportunities and didn't take advantage so we can't go out and beat ourselves."
Rockford and Lake Erie will meet Sunday at 5:05 for the rubber match of the weekend series.