Crushers walk early and late in 6-4 win
Craig Hertler drew a leadoff walk in the first and third innings and came around to score both times as the Crushers went on to beat the Wild Things 6-4. The Crushers have now won two in a row have reached an even 23-23 on the season. The loss was Washington’s seventh in eight games.
After Hertler walked in the first inning, Max Casper brought him home with an RBI triple. Casper would score on the play to make it an early 2-0 lead thanks to an error on Things’ second baseman C.J. Beatty. The error was one of three committed by the Things on the day.
In the third inning, Hertler walked, then reached third after an errant pick-off throw from Things starting pitcher Shawn Blackwell. Herter would score on a two-out RBI double from Daniel Bowman to give the Crushers a 3-0 lead.
The walking that occurred later in the game was not a result of a base on balls. Daniel Bowman and Andrew Davis got to take their time around the bases as they combined for three solo home runs in the fifth and seventh innings. Bowman, who hit two of them, finished the day 3-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored, but he was replaced by Seth Granger in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Crushers got another strong performance out of their starting pitching, this time from Alex Kaminsky. Kaminsky went six, shutout innings. He allowed just four hits and struck out five batters. He earned the victory to bump his record up to 4-4 in his last start before the all-star break. It was his second consecutive scoreless start.
Ben Klafczynski came on to start the seventh for the Crushers. After striking out the first batter he faced, Klafczynski allowed a walk, a single, a double, a sac fly, and another double before being taken out of the game in favor of Brad Duffy. He was charged with three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Duffy proceeded to retire all four batters he faced before being lifted for Dale Dickerson, who came on in the ninth to try to get his second save in two days. With one out, he allowed a walk and a double before the Things scratched out a run with an RBI groundout. Dickerson retired the final hitter of the game on a pop-up to finish off the afternoon affair.
The game started at 11:05. It was the second time this season the Crushers played a game with an a.m. start time. The first was on May 29th against the Florence Freedom. The Crushers won that game 11-8, so they are now 2-0 in games starting before noon.
The Crushers have already clinched a series win against the Things, but will play third game of the set on Thursday. It is scheduled to start at 7:05 p.m. Matt Smith will be on the mound looking to build on his 2-2 record and 5.40 ERA.