Crushers drop a close one to River City, 3-2
Lake Erie dropped another close ball game on Saturday falling to River City 3-2 in a game where the Crushers couldn't catch a break.
A growing trend that has reared its ugly head again for the Crushers and has seemed to plague the team once again as players are making solid contact, but finding leather. Manager Jeff Isom said he is very aware his guys are hitting well, just not finding any luck.
"They're in a little bit of a funk, there's no question, I mean we swung at some balls and hit them hard and they made plays," Isom said. "We've just got to get guys to get get their timing back and figure some things out. We've got the right guys, there's no question, guys are pressing, trying to do too much, just have got to relax and put good swings on pitches and put them in play, see what happens."
All but two of the Crushers' nine games since the all star break have been decided by one run. On Saturday, the Crushers got on the board early, but faded offensively from there.
Russell Moldenhauer put the Crushers in scoring position with a double that hopped over the left field wall and advanced Daniel Bowman to third after his single. Emanuel Quiles would knock in Bowman before he left the game with an unknown thumb injury while newly acquired Wes Meadows got his first RBI as a Crusher to bring Moldenhauer home.
After Meadows' RBI single, the Rascals' Craig Goodman retired the next 11 Crushers to hold the game up. The woes continued for the Crushers as seven of the 11 retired were fly outs to the outfield.
While the Lake Erie offense continues its scoring woes, the Crushers pitching continued its dominating ways. Local pitcher Adam Beach made his third start as a Crushers and showed his struggles in spots, but still only let in three runs.
Working out of jams in the second and third inning, Beach was finally cracked in the fourth for two runs with two outs.
"[Beach] is a guy that has to be able to throw pitches in the strike zone and then stay in the strike zone," Isom said. "He'll get ahead, stay in the strike zone and he'll try and deviate, try and get a swing out of the zone and these guys will get themselves out."
In 4.1 innings, Beach finished his day with three earned runs on eight hits, a walk, a hit batter and a strike out.
Where Beach struggled giving up too many chances to the Rascals, a combination of Brad Duffy, Brandon Smith and Connor Whalen controlled River City, combining for 4.2 innings of one hit relief.
"We got guys in and got them out so that way we can bring them back pretty quick," Isom said in preparation for a four game series at Evansville.
Before all was said and done with this series, the Crushers did have a shot late at coming back in a big way. With two outs in the eighth inning, Craig Hertler and Seth Granger had a pair of seeing eye singles to put a pair on for veteran Andrew Davis.
Davis worked to a quick 3-0 count as the Rascals' Chandler Jagodzinski looked like he was avoiding the Crushers' best hitter all together. Jagodzinski battled back to a full count and Davis could only get off a soft grounder back to him for the final out of the ball game.
Two out hitting was the Crushers' achilles heel on Saturday.
"We had opportunities with two outs, I can think of early on and late, we had the big key one with 3-0 with Davis and we get a ground ball to the pitcher," Isom said. "They took advantage of two out hitting and we didn't."
Lake Erie will play Evansville Sunday at 5:05.