Lake Erie falls to Windy City, 5-3
Crestwood, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers (25-30), coming off one of their most complete series performances of the season, traveled to Crestwood to take on the Thunderbolts (23-31) for the second time this season. Windy City a team who needed to gain any type of momentum before the All-Star break.
The Crushers had their ace and Frontier League All-Star Joseph Sgambelluri on the mound but that wasn’t enough. The Thunderbolts used five early runs including a big second inning to end Lake Erie’s win streak, 5-3.
Windy City opened the floodgates in the second inning with four runs. Jake Boone lined an RBI single to left center. Matt Morgan followed with an RBI single to center field. The lead-off man Daryl Myers smoked a baseball over the left field wall for a two run home run.
Lake Erie was scoreless through four innings while the Thunderbolts added a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. An RBI double by Brynn Martinez was the lone run.
The Crushers finally got to Thunderbolts starter Kenny Mathews in the fifth inning. Solo home run from Jackson Valera erased the goose egg from the Crushers side. Lake Erie followed with one run in the sixth inning, Sean Cheely lined a baseball far enough in left field to advance Kenen Irizarry from third to home.
Overall, it was an impressive performance from Matthews on the mound. He twirled five and two thirds innings. Allowed eight hits, two runs, two walks, and struck out five. On the other side Sgambelluri was able to keep the Crushers in the game after a rough second inning. The starter lasted five innings, allowed seven hits, five runs, three walks, and struck out eight.
Going into the sixth inning it was up to both bullpens. Elliot Carney dazzled in his two innings of work. The reliever struck out four and allowed one hit. Justin Miller for Windy City relieved Matthews. He threw a scoreless seventh but in the eight inning Jake Gitter recorded a productive out with an RBI sac-fly to right field bringing the deficit to two runs.
Brayden Bonner stepped on the mound in the ninth for Windy City. Bonner with a two run lead to work just needed three outs to secure a Thunderbolt win. He had to go through the teeth of the Crushers lineup in Valera, Owings, and Figueiredo. Bonner with no problems threw a scoreless ninth inning and struck out two Crusher hitters. Lake Erie would lose their three game win streak in the series opener.
Game two between the two teams will take place at Ozinga Field in Crestwood, Ill. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.