The River City Rascals (29-29) dropped a ten inning offensive showdown, 8-7, in the series
finale against the Lake Erie Crushers (25-31) Thursday night at CarShield Field.
In total, both teams combined for 15 runs on 28 hits and the majority of the damage came via
the long ball for the second night in a row.
The offensive attack didn’t take long to get going as the Crushers began the game with a pair of
hits and then a walk issued to Conner Simonetti loaded the bases with no outs.
On the mound for the Rascals was Reese Gregory and he put himself in a hole early as the next
man up, Sean Hurley stroked the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a grand slam to put
his team up 4-0. The gopher ball was the fourth home run of the series for Lake Erie and they
were in position to win just their second series on the road the entire year.
However, the Rascals answered back in the bottom of the third against the Crushers with a long
ball of their own.
After a RBI single from Brandon Thomas to get the home team on the board, rookie Jimmy
Kerrigan belted his team leading ninth home run, a two-run shot to bring the Rascals within a
run at 4-3.
The slim deficit didn’t last long as Lake Erie answered with a leadoff home run in the fourth and
would go on tag Reese Gregory for two more runs in the next two frames before the righties
night was over with two outs in the top of the sixth.
Leaving in line for his potential fourth loss of the year, Gregory allowed seven runs, earned, on
14 hits and struck out three.
Nate Hoffmann was the first Rascal arm out of the bullpen and he combined with Jason
Zgardowski and Storm Rynard to hold the opponent scoreless the rest of regulation.
The bullpen holding down the fort gave the Rascals offense a chance to come back and they
would do just that against a pair of Crushers arms. Johnny Morales and Josh Silver tallied a RBI
a piece in the bottom of the seventh to cut the deficit to 7-5 and then three-time Frontier League
All-Star Josh Ludy came up huge for his team in their last opportunity.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Josh Ludy drove a ball into the right-center gap
that scored Morales easily and then manager Steve Brook waved in Jurgella from first and he
beat the relay throw to tie the game up at seven.
The Rascals were unable to record one more hit after that to walk things off and it sent the
game to extra-innings.
The extra-inning game marked the fifth time the Rascals gave the fans free baseball this year.
However, it got off to a bad start Thursday night and the home team was once again haunted by
the long ball.
With Nick Kennedy on the mound, Connor Oliver stroked a solo home run over the right field
wall to put his team on top by a run.
The Crushers sixth home run of the series gave a save opportunity to Tylier Campbell in the
bottom of the tenth and he would succeed by retiring the Rascals in order to secure the victory.
Crushers reliever Seth Lucio recorded the win, despite allowing the two runs in the ninth while
Kennedy took his second loss of the year.
The loss puts the Rascals back at the .500 mark and they look to get back over the hump and
avoid a three game losing streak as they welcome the Traverse City Beach Bums for a three
game series Friday night.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with southpaw Dan Ludwig on the mound