Crushers drop second straight, 5-2
Lake Erie dropped its second game in a row Friday, falling to Rockford (5-19) to a final score of 5-2.
Starter Matt Rein, who had been strong in his last few outings, struggled in spurts on Friday. Letting in a pair of runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the sixth, Rein pitch 5.2 innings and was handled the loss.
To top the teams' struggles off, the Crushers (10-15) struggled offensively with just two runs. Russell Moldenhauer, who went from cleanup to sixth in the lineup, had the lone RBI in this one.
The Crushers have been looking for offensive consistency all season long with guys shifting in and out of the lineup. Gauntlett Eldemire, who has been out of the lineup for the past three game, stepped in, but went 0-4 with three strikeouts.
Max Casper has moved from the seven hole up to second in the lineup, but has yet to find success there after several productive games.
Some encouragement came from the game, though, specifically from Lake Erie's bullpen. Mickey Jannis, who was traded away for a player to be named later and Jannis himself ended up being that player, returned to the Crushers and pitched 1.1 of relief with no hits, a walk and a strikeout.
The newest anomaly to the team is Ben Klafczynski, an outfielder for the team last season who newly discovered arm moved him to the bullpen. Klafczynski was picked up by the Red Sox organization last year, but did not make it out of extended spring.
In a quick turnaround, the Kent State grad returned to the Crushers and debuted as a pitcher Friday. In an inning of work, Klafczynski gave up no runs on no hits, a walk and a strikeout.
Jannis and Klafczyski look to help an ailing bullpen that has struggled for most of the season.
Lake Erie will return to action Saturday night in Illinois with 8:05 first pitch.