Crushers come back late, beat Otters in extras


AVON, Ohio - Following a 15-minute rain delay late in the game Sunday, the Lake Erie Crushers found a game-tying run to force extra innings and then defeated the Evansville Otters, 3-2.


The game started in a pitcher’s duel, featuring solid outings from Evansville’s Parker Brahms and Lake Erie’s Matt Mulhearn. Brahms finished with another masterful performance with a dozen strikeouts.


It took four innings to find offense Sunday afternoon before the Otters broke the scoreless tie with a sacrifice fly RBI from J.R. Davis.


The 1-0 advantage lasted for Evansville into the seventh when an RBI single from Sean Cheely tied the game at one.


Evansville re-took their lead in the eighth, scoring on another sacrifice fly RBI, this time from Dakota Phillips.


Four pitches into the eighth inning, rain entered the area and forced a brief rain delay. After 15 minutes, the teams returned to the field. After recording two outs, Jacob Bowles had Jackson Valera at a full count before allowing a game-tying solo home run.


Both teams would fail to score in the ninth, forcing extra innings.


In the top half of the tenth, an intentional walk to Steven Sensley set the Otters up for an inning-ending double play.


In the bottom half, a leadoff single put runners at the corners for Lake Erie. Following a foul-out from Kenan Irizarry, Valera was the hero once again with a game-winning RBI single to left field.


The 3-2 Crushers win gave Lake Erie their first series sweep of Evansville since 2012.


With the loss, Evansville dropped to 1-5 on the road trip, 22-16 overall.


Evansville starter Parker Brahms threw another gem, but was left hanging despite a 12-strikeout performance, allowing just one run on five hits across seven complete innings.


The loss went to Logan Sawyer in relief, his first of the year. Sam Curtis grabbed his second win in relief in 2022.


The Evansville Otters return home Tuesday night to kick off a three-game homestand with the Joliet Slammers, with first pitch scheduled for Taco Tuesday at 6:35 p.m.CT, gate open at 5:30 p.m.CT at Bosse Field.