Lake Erie splits Wednesday double header with Windy City
Box Link Game 1: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=354571
Box Link Game 2: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=331527
CRESTWOOD, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, split their double header with the Windy City Thunderbolts at Standard Bank Stadium on Wednesday night, dropping game one, 5-1, before taking the finale, 5-3.
For the Crushers (20-25) the split gives them wins in three out of their last five games, while the Thunderbolts (24-23) have now lost nine out of their last 11 overall.
Lake Erie struck first in game one, but they were held to four hits in the contest, and were eventually done in by a four-run fourth from the Thunderbolts. In the second game, Mike Devine (6-2) pitched extremely well, while the Crushers doubled their hit total from the first contest, and recorded five extra base hits along the way.
In his first game back with the Crushers, Connor Oliver started the game with a single to right, but was quickly erased at second moments later after Max Casper bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. Jose Barraza followed with a solo homer to right, his fourth of the season, giving Lake Erie a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the Crushers would only get two hits after that. Windy City tied the game in the bottom of the second inning on Kyle Wood's RBI double down the line in right, before scoring four in the fourth to pull away.
Taylor Smart walked to start the bottom of the fourth and Charlie Thurber followed with a single, before Ransom LaLonde was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wood then walked to bring the first run in, and back-to-back RBI singles from John Eierman and Tim Zier followed before Coco Johnson capped the big inning with a sac fly RBI to score Wood.
Jake Fisher (5-3) scored the win for the Thunderbolts, making him 4-0 all-time against the Crushers. He went all seven innings and allowed just a run on four hits while fanning eight. Justin Sinibaldi (0-3) took the loss, after allowing five runs on five hits while fanning three over three innings.
Lake Erie fired the first shot once again, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Sean Hurley reached on a one out single, and made his way to third on Casper's double to the gap in right-center. Brett Syneck then drove Hurley home on a RBI groundout.
Windy City was able to answer in the bottom of the second inning. Wood belted a one out single and scored on Larry Balkwill's RBI double. After the double from Balkwill, Devine retired the next 11 batters he faced.
The Crushers regained the lead in the top of the third. Oliver began the inning on a bunt base hit, and scored on Brendan Costantino's RBI double off the wall in left, before Lake Erie added another run in the fourth. Hurley started the fourth with a double to center, and moved to third on Casper's sacrifice bunt, before coming home on Syneck's sac fly RBI.
Lake Erie was able to score two more insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning. Eric Grabe started the inning with a single, and came around to score on Richard Seigel's RBI double down the line in right. Seigel reached third on a passed ball, and scored on Casper's sac fly RBI.
Windy City was able to get a couple of runs late. Zier and Johnson stroked back-to-back singles to start the sixth inning, and Zier eventually scored on Ransom LaLonde's sac fly RBI. Balkwill hit a solo homer in the seventh, but it was not enough.
Devine scored the victory, his second in his last three starts. He went six innings, and allowed just a pair of runs on five hits while fanning five and didn't allow any walks. Chandler Jagodzinski (3) scored the save, after allowing just the solo homer to Balkwill in the seventh. Tyler Murphy (2-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits over five innings of work.
Costantino and Hurley paced the offensive attack for the Crushers, with two hits each.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts on Thursday night. Right-hander Steve Hagen (2-2, 1.32) will start for the Crushers and the Thunderbolts will go with right-hander Clay Chapman (5-2, 2.61). The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.