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MONROE—The HME Crushers lived up to their name Tuesday night in the play-in round of the double-elimination Sandy Koufax League tournament by smashing 12 hits, four of which were for extra bases, and easily defeated the Bluffton Parks team, 18-2.
The Crushers tallied five in the first, four in the second, seven in the third, and then polished the game off with two in the fourth.
Jantz Blackburn tripled and doubled in a three-hit, three-RBI game for the Crushers while Tyler Lengerich tripled among his two hits and had three RBIs. Stephen Eicher smacked a triple and drove in two RBIs and Tucker Miller added a pair of hits and two RBIs as well for the Monroe squad.
Monroe pitcher Matt Baker limited the Bluffton squad to just one hit in the game and struck out six while issuing six walks.
In the other game in Monroe Tuesday, the Bluffton Elks outlasted the Harvest Land squad 9-8 in eight inninngs.
At Worthman Field in Decatur, two lopsided games found Northern Wells and the Monroe Corner Deli advancing to the next round of play.
Corner Deli broke open a 3-0 game with seven runs in the third and polished off Stoller Seed by a 12-1 count. Clayton Harkless and Tanner Butler both tripled for the winners while Deli hurlers Andy Oliver and Carter Sharp limited Stoller batters to just three hits and combined for three strikeouts. Desmond Carter and Caitlyn Herndon pitched for the Seeds.
In the other game at Worthman, Northern Wells pounded out an 18-1 victory over Ossian State Bank.
Karston Boone picked up the pitching win for Northern Wells.
The four losing squads Monday were eliminated from the field. The eight remaining teams will not play in a double-elimination round.
Action in the Koufax tournament resumes tonight at both sites. At Worthman Field, regular season champion Erie Haven, the number one seed, takes on the Bluffton Elks at 5:30 p.m. and the nightcap finds the McIntire Heaters battling the HME Crushers at 7:45 p.m. At Don Ray Field in Monroe, Courtesy Motors and Northern Wells play at 5:30 p.m. and South Adams entertains Monroe Corner Deli at 7:45 p.m.