September 30, 2014

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Zac Treece dominates on mound, leads Crushers past Greys

Lake Erie Crushers' Zac Treece pitches against the Frontier Greys. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Lake Erie Crushers’ Zac Treece pitches against the Frontier Greys. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

AVON — Zac Treece set the tone for the Lake Erie Crushers on Tuesday.

Treece (3-2) held the Frontier Greys to three hits, one run and two walks over eight innings, while striking out five as the Crushers rolled 7-1 at All Pro Freight Stadium.

He got lots of support, too, as the offense, which struggled with runners in scoring position Monday, came through with a pair of big innings.

The Crushers (30-26, 19-13 at The Freight) improved to 3-2 on their six-game homestand to start the second half.

It’s the earliest they’ve won their 30th game since 2009.

“He threw good tonight,” Crushers manager Chris Mongiardo said of Treece. “In his last start (against Evansville), he came out throwing a lot of sliders. Tonight, he really established his fastball and threw it well. That’s how he should throw all the time. These guys hit lefties pretty good, if you go off the numbers, so Treece (a right-hander) pitched well tonight.”

Brandon Smith worked the ninth, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning to slam the door.

“If there would have been a normal day off, I might have let (Treece) finish it,” Mongiardo said. “But we’re playing a lot of games in a row and these guys have got to go on their regular rest, so I shut him down at 90 (pitches).”

Treece was also buoyed by some great defensive plays as the Crushers turned three double plays. He faced just three hitters in seven of his eight innings.

I was a little disappointed with myself in the Evansville outing,” said Treece, who lowered his ERA to 2.15. “I left a couple of pitches up and got hit around a little bit. This outing meant a lot because I was able to get back out and start the second half out hot. I just did what I always do — try to get ahead in the count and throw my off-speed for strikes.”

Veteran Andrew Davis had a big night, as well. Davis, who has struggled offensively and defensively this year, got the start at first base and turned a big double play in the second. He also delivered an RBI single in the third to give the Crushers a 2-0 lead and scored from second on Adam Ford’s RBI single to cap a three-run inning.

“Whether he’s 0-for-3 or 0-for-4, there’s nobody I’d rather have up when the game’s on the line than Davis,” Mongiardo said. “He strung together a nice at-bat when it counted, and he’s strung together some good at-bats this entire homestand.

“I don’t want Davis DH’ing all the time so I’m trying to ease him back out on the field. I like Davis in the field. He’s my favorite player.”

Rookie Joey Burney bumped his average to .316 with a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance. His RBI double in the second put the Crushers on the board first, and he added an RBI single in the fifth and later came home on Ryan Hutchison’s fourth home run of the season. Ford went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

NOTES

  • Today’s 11:05 a.m. start is being dubbed “Splash Day,” with slip-n-slides and pools set up during and after the game.
  • Browns starting quarterback Brian Hoyer took in Monday’s game with his family.

Contact Dan Gilles at 329-7135 or dangilles73@gmail.com.

TODAY
WHO: Lake Erie Crushers vs. Freedom Greys
TIME: 11:05 a.m.
WHERE: All Pro Freight Stadium, Avon
PITCHERS: Gordon (0-2, 2.53 ERA) vs. Rohde (5-2, 3.35)
RADIO: WEOL 930-AM

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