Crushers drop wild one to Rockford, 18-17
Lake Erie (10-16) dropped a wild one to Rockford (6-19) Saturday night with a final score of 18-17 in 13 innings.
No lead was safe for either team as the Aviators finally got the winning run across in the bottom of the 14th off Dave Middendorf well into the morning.
In a boxing match of a game, each team landed haymakers and blows all night with a total of 38 hits in the game, 21 by the Crushers, 17 by the Aviators.
Rockford jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on starter Devyn Rivera, who lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up four runs on two hits and six walks. Veteran Andrew Davis got the Crushers back on track with a solo home run in the second inning, one of two home runs he would hit on the night as Davis finished 2-4 with two home runs and three RBIs.
It looked like the Crushers had taken over the game in the fourth inning. Led by Ricardo Lizcano's 2-run single, Lake Erie scored six in the fourth to control a 7-4 lead.
Rockford would answer back in the seventh inning in a big way by exploding for seven runs off of a combination of Brad Duffy, Ben Klafczynski and Jordan Wellander.
The Aviators now led the game 12-11 in the seventh, but the lead did not last. In the top of the eighth, Russell Moldenhauer knocked in Kevin Berard.
Then in the ninth, it appeared that Lake Erie had once again gotten the clutch hitting it needed to get the win when Davis let rip his second home run of the night, followed shortly after by an insurance run by Juan Sanchez to take a 14-12 lead headed to the bottom of the ninth.
Closer Dale Dickerson was three outs away and in line for the win, but came in and promptly walked an Aviator, hit a guy and then gave up an RBI single. Mickey Jannis came on for the save chance, but let in a run left on by Dickerson.
Neither team would score in the 10th or the 11th, but with two on in the 12th, manager Jeff Isom made a substitution in favor of Anderson Hidalgo over Seth Granger.
The move paid off huge, at the time, as Hidalgo whaled a 3-run home run to give the Crushers a 17-14 lead. But like they had done all night long, Rockford answered right back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the 12th then finally got the winning run across in the 13th.
Lake Erie will look to nab one away from Rockford Sunday at 6:05 EST first pitch.