Crushers Swept in Sudden Death
Lake Erie falters late in loss to Windy City
CRESTWOOD, Ill.— The Lake Erie Crushers had the Windy City Thunderbolts down to their final out on Thursday night at Ozinga Field, but could not hang on, as they fell in sudden death to the Thunderbolts.
The loss for the Crushers (36-57) was their fifth in their last six games, while the win for the Thunderbolts (41-51) marks their second sweep of Lake Erie this season.
After three scoreless innings, Lake Erie fired the first shot in the top of the fourth. Jack Harris smashed a RBI single to left, which scored Sean Cheely to give Lake Erie a 1-0 advantage.
The Crushers added to that in the top of the fifth, when Cheely brought John Tuccillo home on a sacrifice fly.
Lake Erie took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but Windy City extended the game by scoring a pair of runs on two hits. The Crushers had the Thunderbolts down to their final out, when Micah Yonamine belted a two run single to right which sent the game into extra innings.
The Crushers staged another lead in the 10th inning, when Scout Knotts ripped a two out, two run single to center which scored Tuccillo and Jindido Tromp.
It didnt take the Thunderbolts long to respond, as Junior Martina smashed a two run homer to left, tying the game at 4-4. The game remained tied through 10 innings, sending the contest into sudden death.
The Frontier League’s sudden death rules allow the home team to choose whether they want to pitch, or hit, and Windy City manager Richie Sexson chose to pitch. Jack Harris started the inning on first base, but was erased on a force out at second after Jarrod Watkins reached on a fielder’s choice. Josh Rego then lined into a game ending double to play.
Darrien Ragins was outstanding for the Crushers, as he tossed four scoreless innings in his final start of the season while fanning seven batters. Conner Richardson and Trevor Kuncl both tossed scoreless innings in relief while Windy City’s Tyler LaPorte (1-0) worked a scoreless sudden death inning to secure the win.
Knotts and Kenen Irizarry paced the Lake Erie offense with two hits apiece.
The Crushers will begin their final series of the season on Friday night, as they travel to Sauget, Ill., to take on the Gateway Grizzlies. Right-hander Matt Mulhearn is scheduled to get the start and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:45 PM.