FROM STAFF REPORTS
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — AVON, Ohio — Craig Hertler and Seth Granger proved a dynamic duo Monday night.
Hertler scored three runs and Granger drove in two as the Crushers completed a three-game sweep over the Traverse City Beach Bums, 4-3.
The Beach Bums have lost five of their last six games to slip to 40-29, just a game ahead of Southern Illinois in the Frontier League’s East Division. Lake Erie is a game and a half off the pace.
The Crushers pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the seventh when Hertler walked, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Granger’s ground rule double.
Burny Mitchem, who came on in relief of Michael Devine in the fifth inning, was tagged with the loss. The double by Granger was the only hit he allowed in 2.2 innings of work.
Brandon Smith, the third of four Lake Erie pitchers, picked up the win. He tossed two innings of hitless relief. Dale Dickerson pitched the ninth for his 11th save on the year.
The Crushers struck quickly for two runs in the first as Hertler led off with a single, Granger followed with an RBI double and Dan Bowman singled in Granger.
The Beach Bums, who open a nine-game homestand Wednesday, scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a brief lead. In the third, Zach Kometani doubled, moved to third on a grounder and scored on a balk. In the fourth, newly-signed shortstop Andrew Heck singled, took third on Matt Howard’s double and scored on a Ryan Still sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Carlo Testa singled, stole second and scored on a Sean Gusrang hit.
That lead was short lived as Lake Erie plated the tying run in the bottom of the fifth when Hertler walked, Granger singled, Bowman walked and Andrew Davis grounded out, bringing in Hertler.
The Beach Bums finished with seven hits, two by Howard. Lake Erie collected six hits.
Traverse City hosts Southern Illinois on Wednesday night with Scott Dunn (12-0, 2.26) pitching for the Beach Bums and Cody Hall (4-3, 4.34) for the Miners.