Crushers swept by River City, lose 2-1
River City completed a three game series sweep of Lake Erie Sunday night in Missouri with a 2-1 victory over the Crushers.
Despite getting another solid performance from its starting pitching, the Crushers bats hit but could not come up with runs.
"Another one run ball game that we weren't on the winning side of; gave up an unearned run in the first and a leadoff walk in the second came back to haunt us," manager Jeff Isom said. "[Dave] Middendorf our starter, threw the ball extremely well, a quality start and went deep into the game before turning it over to the bullpen and [Justin] Wellander ends up putting a zero on the board."
Andrew Davis was responsible for the lone run with his second home run of the season in the eighth, but other than that the Crushers were left looking for answers. The closest Lake Erie came to scoring was in the sixth with two outs and a man on third but no one could bring in the runner.
"Any time the guys in the middle of the lineup, whether they're veterans or young guys, when you're in the middle of the lineup we need production," Isom said. "Truthfully, we're not getting a whole lot of production. I know Davis hit a home run tonight but we need to start getting production out of those guys on a nightly basis."
In the top of the ninth, veteran hitter Russell Moldenhauer launched a ball that almost brought the game into the bottom of the ninth, but was hunted down at the warning track. It has been that kind of luck for the Crushers this season.
Against River City this weekend, Lake Erie lost all three games by a combined four runs. Pitching has been about as solid as it can be but production has been on a sharp decline.
Scoring nine runs this weekend, six coming from a Friday night loss, the Crushers batting average is near tops in the league. But Isom is at a loss for why his hitters aren't producing, despite collecting 24 hits in three games.
"Yeah, we had a high batting average, but that's been dropping and I think we might be last in the league in runs scored," Isom said. "We need to get guys to have better appearances at the plate when guys are on base."
On Tuesday the Crushers will return home to face the Florence Freedom, but not before a day of rest after a long road trip. The Crushers went 2-4 away from home and Isom said he is giving the day to his players to relax and prepare for an early, but important home stand.