Crusher Bats Bash T-Bolts
Lake Erie offense erupts in 10-7 win over Windy City
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AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers started their final homestand of the season at Mercy Health Stadium on Tuesday night, as they slugged their way to a 10-7 win over the Windy City Thunderbolts in a game that saw the two teams combine for 20 hits, including six homers.
Lake Erie (43-42) has now won four in a row at home and five out of their last seven overall, while the loss for Windy City (31-53) was their third in their last four games.
Back-to-back homers provided the first four runs of the game for the T-Bolts in the top of the first inning. Jake Boone drew a one out walk and Brynn Martinez stroked a two out single to set up Bren Spillane’s three run homer to left, his 11th of the season. Brian Klein followed with a solo homer to right, his second of the year.
Lake Erie responded with a run in the bottom of the first. Connor Owings began the inning with a single to right and made his way to second on Jackson Valera’s one out single to left. Austin White drove Owings home on a two out base hit to center to put the Crushers on the board.
Windy City’s starting pitcher Kenny Mathews left the game after the first inning due to an undisclosed injury and Ryan Miller came on to replace him. Miller walked three batters and he allowed a pair of runs to score. Sean Cheely and Bryan DeLaRosa walked to start the inning. Cheely scored on a wild pitch and DeLaRosa came home on Kemuel Thomas-Rivera’s sacrifice fly.
Another long ball allowed the Thunderbolts to add to their lead in the top of the third. Brynn Martinez belted a solo homer to right, his ninth of the season to give Windy City at 5-3 lead.
The Crushers responded quickly, scoring three times to take the lead in the bottom of the third on DJ Stewart’s first homer of the season. Stewart’s bomb was set up by Kenen Irizarry’s single to start the inning and a free pass issued to Austin White.
Lake Erie added to that lead in the bottom of the fifth. Stewart started the inning with a walk and came around to score on a two out RBI single from Connor Owings.
Windy City tied things up with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. A one out walk was issued to Matt Morgan before Kole Kaler and Payton Robertson stroked back-to-back singles. Robertson’s single scored Morgan and Kaler came around to score the tying run on Jairus Richards’s RBI groundout.
Walks and an error allowed the Crushers to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Valera started the inning with a single to left and made his way to third after Irizarry reached on an error committed by Klein at second. Cheely drew a two out walk to load the bases for DeLaRosa who walked on four pitches to bring in the go ahead run.
Owings struck again for the Crushers in the bottom of the seventh, as he smashed a solo homer to straightaway center field, his 15th of the season to give Lake Erie a 9-7 lead.
Lake Erie used one last long ball to plate their final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth, when DeLaRosa belted a solo homer to left, his third of the season.
Nathan Holt (2-0) picked up the win for the Crushers in relief after allowing a pair of runs on one hit over three innings. Elliot Carney and Sam Curtis both tossed scoreless innings in relief, and Alexis Rivero (17) worked a scoreless ninth inning to get the save.
Seven Crushers reached safely on the night at least once, six of them multiple times. Owings led the way going 3-for-5 with a pair of singles and the solo homer. Valera reached four times on the night after going 3-for-4 with a trio of singles and a walk, while DeLaRosa also reached four times on two free passes, a single and the solo homer in the eighth. White reached three times to extend his hitting streak to seven games and his on base streak to eight.
The Crushers will continue their series with Windy City at Mercy Health Stadium on Wednesday night. Right-hander Matt Mulhearn (5-3, 3.21) will start for the Crushers and the first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.