O'FALLON, Mo. -- The River City Rascals went to extra-innings for the second consecutive night, this time at home, as they defeated the Lake Erie Crushers by a score of 5-4 in 12 innings on Friday night in the series opener. Andrew Penner delivered the walk-off hit for the Rascals. Aaron Hill had four hits on the night for Lake Erie in a losing effort.
The Crushers jumped out to a 3-0 lead, getting a two-run double and solo homer from Bryan DeLaRosa in the second and fifth innings, respectively. James Morisano put the Rascals on the board with a two-run shot in the bottom of the fifth, and the Rascals ended up tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. Down to their final out, they rallied for three straight hits, including an RBI single from LJ Kalawaia to send the game to extra-innings.
The Rascals had the bases loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the tenth, but failed to drive in a run. As the game entered the 11th, the International Tie-Breaker Rule went into effect, with both teams starting every subsequent inning with a runner on second base.
Both teams took advantage, as Dale Burdick hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th, before Trevor Achenbach tied the game with a run-scoring infield single in the bottom of the frame. In the top of the 12th, the Crushers attemped to take the lead again on a would-be sacrifice fly, but Rascals outfielder Kameron Esthay delived a laser throw to the plate to cut down the runner and turn an inning-ending double play. Penner delivered the finishing blow on a single with one out in the bottom of the 12th, sending the Rascals home winners.
Rascals starter Keenan Bartlett, in his team debut, allowed three runs over six innings, striking out five without a walk. The Rascals bullpen combined to allow just a single unearned run, with Yeison Medina (4-3) earning the win.
Crushers starter Patrick Ledet allowed just two runs on four hits over six innings, walking one and striking out nine. Reliever Evy Ruibal (1-1) took the loss, allowing the final two runs, neither of which were earned.
The Rascals (35-28) and Crushers (34-27) will play a doubleheader tomorrow night, with first pitch of the first game scheduled for 5:05 p.m. CDT from CarShield Field. Brendan Feldmann and Travis McQueen are the probable pitchers for the Rascals.