12 walks haunt Crushers in loss to Windy City
AVON, Ohio— The Lake Erie Crushers issued 12 walks on Friday night in their series opener against the Windy City Thunderbolts, and the free passes proved to be too much to overcome in a 7-4 loss at Mercy Health Stadium.
For the Crushers (39-48) the loss was their fifth in their last six games at home, while the win for the Thunderbolts (39-49) was just their second in their last eight games.
The walks were a big problem in the top of the first inning, when the T-Bolts scored twice on just two hits. Walks were issued to Payton Robertson and Dan Robinson to start the game. Rob Calabrese brought Robertson home on a RBI groundout and Rob Weissheier brought Robinson home on a RBI single to center.
Windy City capitalized on three free passes in the second inning to add another run before the Crushers used the long ball to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Karl Ellison’s second of three hits on the night was a one out single in the fourth inning and he came around to score two batters later when Nick Rotola belted a two run homer to left, his ninth of the season. Javier Betancourt followed with solo homer to left, his third of the year to tie the game at 3-3.
The Thunderbolts didn’t wait long to respond, as they plated three runs in the top of the fifth inning to regain the lead. Calabrese started the inning with a double and scored on Zac Taylor’s RBI double to left. Taylor scored with Brynn Martinez two batters later on Jack Strunc’s two run double to left.
Windy City added another run in the seventh inning, where they walked three times and capitalized on an error. Robertson walked for a third time on the night, this time with the bases loaded to score Taylor.
Lake Erie plated one last run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Zach Racusin extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single to start the eighth inning and he scored on Ellison’s two out RBI double to left.
Dillon Larsen (0-2) took the loss for the Crushers after allowing four runs on just three hits but he walked seven batters and struck out six over 4 1/3 innings of work. Windy City’s Miguel Ausua (8-5) picked up the win after limiting the Crushers to a trio of runs on six hits and struck out five over six innings of work. Ryan Hare (2) worked a scoreless ninth inning to get the save.
Ellison and Rotola led the way for the Lake Erie offense with three hits each, counting for two-thirds of Lake Erie’s hits on the night. The Crushers outhit the Thunderbolts 9-5.
The Crushers and Thunderbolts will continue their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Right-hander Jake Pilarski (3-3, 5.69) will get the start for the Crushers and the T-Bolts will counter with righty Tyler Thornton (4-8, 3.32). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.