Lake Erie scores four times in the first three innings to defeat Windy City
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AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers scored all four of their runs in the first three innings of Friday night’s game at Mercy Health Stadium and erased an early 2-0 deficit to come from behind and beat the Windy City Thunderbolts, 4-2.
Lake Erie (17-16) has defeated Windy City (11-21) in all four of their meetings this season, and the Thunderbolts have now lost three in a row overall.
The Thunderbolts struck first, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Former Crusher Zach Racusin began the game with a double to right field and Dan Robinson followed with a single. A wild pitch scored Racusin and Jairus Richards brought Robinson home on a RBI single to right.
Lake Erie was able to get one of those back in the bottom of the first inning. Steven Kraft reached on an errant throw from Windy City shortstop Brynn Martinez to start the inning and he came around to score on Isaac Benard’s RBI single to left.
The Crushers plated two more in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-2 lead. Steve Passatempo started the inning with a single and Javier Betancourt followed with a walk. Eric Callahan followed with a two-run double to center field, brining them both home to give the Crushers a 3-2 lead.
Lake Erie added another in the bottom of the third. Brody Wofford belted a one out double into the right field corner, and he scored on a two out RBI single to center off the bat of Passatempo.
After allowing a pair of runs on three hits in the first inning, Lake Erie starting pitcher Jake Pilarski (1-0) settled in, and allowed just one hit the rest of the way. He picked up the victory after allowing just two runs on four hits over six innings of work and struck out five batters, in what was his finest start of the season. Taylor Sugg worked two scoreless innings of relief while Daniel Kight (3) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save. Windy City’s Kenny Mathews (1-5) took the loss after pitching a complete game. He allowed four runs on nine hits and struck out four over eight innings.
In their last three games, Lake Erie starting pitchers have combined to toss 17 2/3 innings and allowed just three runs on 11 hits. Over the first four games of the current home stand, the Lake Erie bullpen has allowed just three runs over nine innings of action.
Passatempo paced the Crushers offensively, going 3-for-4 on the night, while Achenbach turned in a multi-hit game as well, going 2-for-4. Seven of Lake Erie’s starting nine reached safely at least once. Karl Ellison went 0-for-4 and saw his eight game hitting streak come to an end.
The Crushers and Thunderbolts will continue their three game series at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night. Lefty Ryan Feierabend (2-2, 4.88) will start for the Crushers and the Thunderbolts will counter with right-hander Logan Wiley (0-0, 0.00). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.