Romero leads Crushers to 6-4 home opening victory

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Crushers Staff Report

AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, received six strong innings from starting pitcher Alex Romero and scored runs in four innings as they won their 2019 season opener at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Friday night with a 6-4 win over Windy City.

The victory for the Crushers (1-0) was their fifth in a row at home dating back to last season, and marks their third win in a home opener over the last four seasons, while the Thunderbolts (0-2) dropped their second straight game to start the year.

Windy City jumped on the board first, scoring in the top of the second inning. Patrick Mathis reached on a single to right, moved to second base on a wild pitch before scoring on Joe Becht’s RBI single to right field.

Lake Erie answered in the bottom of the inning. Dale Burdick was hit by a pitch to start the inning and came around to score the game tying run on Jake Vieth‘s two out RBI single to left field.

Another big two out hit allowed the Crushers to take the lead in the bottom of the third. Aaron Hill started the inning with a single to left before advancing to second on James Davison’s bunt base hit. Dane Hutcheon then reach on a fielder’s choice, putting runners at the corners. Hutcheon stole second with two out in the inning, and Zach Racusin stroked a two-run single to left to give Lake Erie a 3-1 lead.

The Crushers added another run in the fourth inning with another two out hit. Emmanuel Marrero started the inning with a double and scored on Bodie Bryan‘s two out single to left.

Marrero struck again for Lake Erie in the sixth inning where he led off with a triple and later scored on Bryan DeLaRosa’s RBI single to center. DeLaRosa scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.

Windy City plated their second run in the top of the seventh as Becht came home on a wild pitch, and they added two more in the top of the eighth inning after Brynn Martinez belted a RBI single and David Oppenheim walked with the bases loaded.

Alex Romero (1-0) was terrific for the Crushers, scoring the victory after allowing just a run on four hits while fanning seven batters over six innings. Seth Lucio (1) worked a scoreless ninth inning to grab the save, while Kenny Mathews (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over four innings of work.

Every Crusher in the starting lineup reached safely at least once, with eight of the starting nine recording at least one hit. Marrero led the way going 2-for-4 and scored twice.

The Crushers will continue their three game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Greyfer Eregua will take the mound for the Crushers and the Thunderbolts will counter with righty Christian Morris. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.