Crushers shut out in season finale, playoffs loom
AVON, Ohio. -- The Lake Erie Crushers were held to just a pair of hits in the 2013 regular season finale on Thursday night, as they were defeated by the Traverse City Beach Bums, 2-0, at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The loss for the Crushers (56-40) snapped a five game winning streak, while the victory for the Beach Bums (55-41) snapped an 11-game slide on the road.
The contest had no bearing on the playoff picture, and did not affect the standings at all.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie, until the Beach Bums plated single runs in the eighth and ninth. Sean Gusrang snapped the scoreless tie, with a solo homer at the beginning of the eighth inning.
Jose Vargas started the top of the ninth inning, before making his way to third base on a pair of wild pitches. Dale Dickerson then fanned Jeremy Banks, before Andrew Heck belted a run scoring single.
Lake Erie came up with just a couple of hits. Andrew Davis stroked a one out base hit in the fifth inning to end a string of 13 straight batters retired by Ben Rawding (2-0). The only other hit for the Crushers came from Juan Sanchez on a double in the bottom of the ninth.
The contest also capped an incredible second half run for the Crushers. Lake Erie went 30-15 after the All Star Break, and they finished the regular season with a record of 37-17 at All Pro Freight Stadium.
Rawding went the distance for the Beach Bums, tossing a two-hit shutout and fanned nine in the process. Matt Smith (5-6) took the loss for the Crushers, allowing just a run on a hit over one inning of relief. Jason Wilson started the game for the Crushers, and tossed seven scoreless innings.
The Crushers are off on Friday, but will begin a best of five series in the first round of the Frontier League Playoffs against the Traverse City Beach Bums at All Pro Freight Stadium on Saturday night. Left-hander Dave Middendorf (12-7, 2.60) will start for the Crushers and right-hander Scott Dunn (15-1, 2.61) will start for the Beach Bums. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.