Crushers drop series to T-Bolts
Slow start costs Crushers in 6-0 loss to Windy City
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, were haunted by a slow start on Thursday night at All Pro Freight Stadium, as they surrendered five runs in the first two innings before dropping the rubber match to the Windy City Thunderbolts, 6-0.
The game was eventually called at the end of the eighth inning due to rain. For the Crushers (14-14) the loss was their fifth in their last six games, and marked their fourth straight series loss, while the Thunderbolts (19-11) scored their first series victory in Avon since the 2012 season.
The struggles started early for the Crushers, as the Thunderbolts plated a trio of runs in the top of the first inning on three hits, before they plated a pair of runs on a couple of knocks, and they scored another run in the fifth.
Windy City received back-to-back singles to start the game from Tim Zier and Coco Johnson. Ransom LaLonde then walked to load the bases, and moments later, Zier scored the game's first run on a wild pitch. Cody Keefer then plated Johnson on a Sacrifice Fly, before Blair Beck finished the big frame with a run scoring double to left.
The Thunderbolts would get two more in the top of the second. Taylor Smart started the inning with a single and Larry Balkwill followed with a walk. John Williams then reached on an errant throw from Crusher catcher Jose Barraza, which allowed Smart to score, and later in the inning, Johnson delivered a two-out RBI single to score Williams.
Windy City was able to scratch one more run across in the top of the fifth. Zier, Johnson and LaLonde started the inning with three straight singles. LaLonde singled to right field, but Zier was thrown out at home plate on the play. Keefer then reached on a fielder's choice, but an errant throw scored Johnson to plate Windy City's final run.
Jake Fisher (4-0) tossed seven scoreless innings for the Thunderbolts to score the victory, allowing just five hits along the way while fanning six batters as well. Trevor Longfellow (0-2) took the loss, after allowing five runs on five hits over 1.2 innings of action.
While the Crushers were held to just six hits on the night, newly acquired Eric Grabe, who was signed earlier in the day, went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles to lead the Lake Erie offense.
The Crushers will begin a their three-game series with the Traverse City Beach Bums on Friday night at All Pro Freight Stadium. Right-hander Jordan Kraus (1-2, 3.38) will start for the Crushers, and the Beach Bums will counter with right-hander Jacob Lanning (2-3, 4.25). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.