Despite a solid start from Ryan McAuliffe in his Southern Illinois debut, and an early one-run lead, the Miners fell 7-2 to Lake Erie Tuesday morning.
Both McAuliffe and Lake Erie's Dylan Mouzakes were in control early, with both throwing zeroes through three innings. That changed when Southern Illinois' Chris Iriart led off the fourth inning with a double, and was driven home by Anthony Brocato's two-out double.
The lead held until the bottom of the fifth when the Crushers tied it on a two-out error by Stephen Lohr on Dane Hutcheon's pop up down the left field line.
In the next half-inning, the Miners got back-to-back singles by Kyle Davis and Alex Santana, with a fielder's choice moving Davis to third with two outs. A wild pitch by Michael Stryffeler (1-0) made the score 2-1 Miners. McAuliffe completed five innings with no earned runs allowed and four strikeouts in his first official game with the club, putting himself in line for the victory.
But things went wrong in the bottom of the sixth. Patrick Duester (0-1) sandwiched a walk with two hit batters, loading the bases with nobody out before Emmanuel Marrero drew a walk off Andrew Bernstein to tie the score at 2-2.
An error by Joe Duncan in center field scored the go-ahead run and made it 3-2, and the Crushers used a fielder's choice and an RBI groundout to bring home two additional runs. Lake Erie scored four runs in the inning without a single hit, making the score 5-2.
The Crushers added two more runs with two outs on base hits by Marrero and Karl Ellison in the seventh inning to push the margin to 7-2.
Santana finished with two hits, while Iriart, Brocato and Gianfranco Wawoe all hit doubles for the Miners. Southern Illinois is 1-3 on the season.
Southern Illinois will look to rebound in the second game of the series Wednesday at 10:05 a.m. Chase Cunningham will pitch for the Miners against Lake Erie ace Alex Romero.