August 03, 2023
CRESTWOOD, IL – The Lake Erie Crushers have been swept for the second straight series after being outdueled by the Windy City ThunderBolts 9-7.
The Crushers (27-42) have not picked up a win in over a week. The club has lost seven straight contests after brutally blowing the lead late in the game to the ThunderBolts (30-38) which solidified their fate.
Lake Erie jumped on the board first in the top of the second inning thanks to a solo shot from Scout Knotts. The Crushers piled on more in the third, with a trio of runs scoring while still blanking Windy City at the time.
A walk and a single put runners at the corners, when Josh Rego singled and scored Jiandido Tromp. Two batters later, Jackson Pritchard doubled to left-center field which scored Rego and Zach Racusin – all of a sudden it was 4-0 in favor of the Grapes.
Windy City kept it close and responded in the fourth inning. The bases were loaded with nobody out, and a single paired to a sacrifice fly scored two runs. A couple of batters, another single and a run scored later, the Crushers’ lead was trimmed to one.
Lake Erie tacked on two more to the box score in the sixth inning. Jarrod Watkins hit a bunt single to second which brought home Sean Cheely. Later in the inning, Racusin hit a sacrifice fly scoring Knotts and making it a 6-3 ballgame.
That would be all the fun Lake Erie had tonight, as Windy City came through big in the eighth inning with six runs to take the lead. The Crushers had the first two men out in the inning, but the Thunderbolts rallied with a pair of homers, including a grand slam from Paul Coumoulos which was the back-breaker.
Thomas Bruss began the inning and surrendered two runs. But, it was Brayden Bonner (1-4) who allowed a corset of ThunderBolts to score in the frame and was charged with blowing the lead and the loss. His former club left no margin for error and capitalized on Bonner’s two hit-by-pitches and a free pass.
The Crushers got one in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the bases were loaded with two outs and Lake Erie ended the game on a fly out.
Derrick Edington (3-1) picked up the win after throwing a scoreless half-inning in the eighth. Daiveyon Whittle (Sv, 9) slammed the door in the final frame and picked up a rocky save.
Knotts led the Lake Erie offense with three hits. Following him were Racusin and Jack Harris with two apiece. Knotts had the only multi-RBI and multi-run performance.
Matt Mulhearn gave the Crushers 5.0 innings as the starter. He allowed three runs on six hits.
Lake Erie will look for a bounce-back performance tomorrow. They begin a new set of games versus the Joliet Slammers to finalize their road trip, with the first pitch at 6:35 PM CDT.