Crushers avoid sweep in 7-5 win over T-Bolts
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers avoided a four game sweep at the hands of the Windy City Thunderbolts, as they took the final game of the series on Monday afternoon at Mercy Health Stadium with a 7-5 victory.
The victory for the Crushers (40-50) was their first at home since August 26, while the loss for the Thunderbolts (41-49) snapped a four game winning streak against the Crushers. Unfortunately for both teams, Lake Erie’s win on Sunday combined with Schaumburg’s victory over Evansville clinched the Frontier League Central Division crown for the Boomers, eliminating both Lake Erie and Windy City from playoff contention.
Lake Erie never trailed, and they took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Trevor Achenbach bounced into a 6-4-3 double play which scored Shawon Dunston Jr. Achenbach was then ejected from the game by first base umpire Mike Martin for arguing the call. In most cases, losing a player like Achenbach would be detrimental to the Crushers, but in Monday’s game, it took a bizarre twist that benefited Lake Erie.
With Achenbach’s ejection, manager Dan Rohn had to re-organize the infield and brought Karl Ellison off the bench to replace Achenbach in the lineup, who delivered in a big way, with a three hit performance, and finished the series with nine hits.
Ellison’s first hit of the game came in the bottom of the third inning with the bases loaded. Eric Callahan started the rally with a one out single which was followed by a base hit from Dunston and then a walk to Steven Kraft loaded the bases. Ellison followed with a two run single to right to give Lake Erie a 3-0 lead.
Windy City responded with a pair of runs in the fourth. Peyton Isaacson walked to start the inning and Brynn Martinez was hit by a pitch before Jack Strunc singled to load the bases for John Sechen. Sechen belted a two run single to left to bring the T-Bolts within one (3-2).
Lake Erie used the long ball to add to their advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ellison started the inning with a single to left field, and came home two batters later on Zach Racusin’s two-run homer to left, his second of the season.
The Thunderbolts scored single runs in the seventh and eighth inning on RBI singles from Rob Weissheier and Jace Mercer respectively, but Lake Erie would tack on two more in the eighth inning.
Kraft started the eighth inning for the Crushers with a walk and Ellison followed with a single. Two batters later, Racusin reached on Strunc’s error at third which allowed Kraft to score. Steve Passatempo then singled into right field, and an errant throw from the second baseman Mercer allowed Ellison to score on the play.
Windy City made things interesting in the top of the ninth. Weissheier singled to start the inning and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. The T-Bolts had runners at the corners when Payton Robertson flew out to right field to end the game.
Ean Walda (3-0) picked up the victory after allowing just a run on one hit while fanning three batters over three innings of relief. Daniel Kight (7) was able to score the save after allowing a run one hit in the ninth. Logan Wiley (6-3) took the loss after surrendering five runs on six hits over six innings.
Ellison paced the Crushers offensively, going 3-for-3 with a trio of singles and went 9-for-11 in the series with five runs and five RBIs as well. Racusin’s two-run homer in the sixth inning extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
The Crushers will begin their final home series of the season on Tuesday night at Mercy Health Stadium against the Schaumburg Boomers. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.