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Pitcher Matt Zielinski (right) threw five scoreless innings before entering a jam in the sixth.

(AVON, OHIO) - The Lake Erie Crushers rallied in the sixth inning to defeat the Evansville Otters 8-2 on Friday night.


Evansville starting pitcher Matt Zielinski and Lake Erie starter Eric Gonzalez-Diaz held both teams scoreless through the first five innings.

Shortstop Greg Fontenot reached in the sixth on a one out single to center field, stole second base and scored on an RBI triple from fellow infielder Luis Parache.

The 1-0 lead only lasted until the bottom of the inning through as Lake Erie surged back to score six runs. First baseman Jason Taylor tied the game with a run-producing single to right field and designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer followed with an RBI single to center field. Pitcher Matt Zielinski was then removed in favor of pitcher David Kubiak, who allowed three more hits as Lake Erie leapt ahead 6-1.

The Crushers would add two more runs in the eighth inning and win the game 8-2.

Lake Erie is now 31-25 this season as Evansville stands at 23-33.

Gonzalez-Diaz (5-5) is the winning pitcher after yielding just one run in 6.0 innings. The loss goes to Zielinski (4-5) who pitched 5.1 innings but surrendered four runs. Reliever Mickey Jannis receives the save after pitching the last 3.0 innings.

The Evansville Otters and Lake Erie Crushers will play the final game of the series on Saturday night. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. EDT at All Pro Freight Stadium as right-hander Bryce Morrow (5-4, 4.29 Earned Run Average) will throw for Evansville and fellow righty Alex Loftin (3-1, 4.45 ERA) will be on the mound for Lake Erie.

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