AVON, OH--The River City Rascals recovered from their worst offensive output of the year on Thursday with their finest of the season on Friday night at Sprenger Stadium in the series opener against the Lake Erie Crushers, winning by a score of 10-0. One night after being held to just two baserunners in a 3-1 loss to the Traverse City Beach Bums, the Rascals exploded for 16 hits, including six doubles. Rascals starting pitcher Hector Hernandez (5-0) was spectacular, going seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits while striking out 10 Crushers hitters and walking three.
The Rascals struck in the first inning on an RBI double from Clint Freeman, and then got another RBI double, this time by JD Hearn, in the fifth inning. They got two more in the sixth, on a wild pitch and a run-scoring single from Gerrion Grim. In the seventh, following doubles from Hearn and Mike Jurgella, Paul Kronenfeld singled in a run, and Kevin Suarez made it 6-0 with an RBI fielder's choice. Hearn got an RBI single in the eighth, and Braxton Martinez and Kronenfeld went back-to-back in the ninth on solo home runs. A Connor Oliver RBI single later in the frame put the score at 10-0.
Rascals reliever Tanner Wilt pitched two scoreless innings wihtout allowing a hit to close out the game, striking out four. Hearn, Kronenfeld and Grim each finished with three hits for the Rascals.
Crushers starter Donny Murray (2-4) took the loss, allowing four earned runs in 5.2 innings, while walking three and striking out six.
The Rascals (18-12) face the Crushers (18-13) in the middle game of the series tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm ET, 5:05 pm CT. Josh Kimborowicz will be on the hill for River City, and will face former Rascal reliever Ethan Westphal.