Jun 12, 2024

Crushers Vault into First Place With Extra Inning Win in Schaumburg

Schaumburg, IL – A battle of heavyweights on a Tuesday evening on the outskirts of Chicagoland saw the Lake Erie Crushers (19-9) take an extra inning victory over the Schaumburg Boomers (18-9), 4-3 in ten innings.

Don’t look now, but with the win over the Boomers, the Lake Erie Crushers now sit alone in 1st place in the Frontier League West. There’s plenty of season to go, but catching up to the big boys with a six game win streak is a big accomplishment for this scrappy Crushers ballclub.

RF Jack Harris broke the ice in Schaumburg with a two-out RBI double off the base of the wall in left field, scoring LF Ronald Washington to give Lake Erie a 1-0 lead in the 4th.

In the 5th, 2B Walner Espinal would take a trip around the bases after drawing a leadoff walk. He’d advance to second on a sacrifice bunt, then to third on a groundout, and he’d scamper home on a wild pitch by Schaumburg reliever, Peter Tveite. A good ol’ USA manufactured run to give the Crushers a 2-0 lead.

RHP Matt Mulhearn was cruising through the Boomers lineup until the bottom of the 5th. A single flanked by two walks loaded the bases with two outs for Schaumburg. The pitcher whisperer, Jonathan Albaladejo, came out to calm down Mulhearn, and the Crushers starter dug in to induce the inning ending flyout. Crushers still leading 2-0 after five innings.

After stranding the bases loaded in the 5th, 3B Logan Thomason continued to mash the baseball with his second homer of the season to add to the lead, 3-0. Of Thomason’s 14 hits this season, 9 of them are for extra bases. Slug. Slug. Slug.

RHP Leonardo Rodriguez would relieve Matt Mulhearn in the bottom of the 6th. Mulhearn was great in his five innings of work, giving up just three hits in his scoreless start.

Rodriguez would toss a convincing 1-2-3 sixth and seventh innings, keeping the score 3-0 Lake Erie.

The Boomers would get on the board in the bottom of the 8th thanks to an RBI double by OF Chase Dawson off of RHP Sammy Tavarez. With the bases loaded and one out, LHP Kenny Pierson would come in out of the bullpen to try to hang on to the 3-1 lead.

On a 3-2 count, Pierson got a swing and miss from Seth Gray on a perfectly located slider for out number two. Before the 1-1 pitch to 1B Will Prater, Pierson made a slight flinch, warranting a balk call to force in a run. On a 2-2 pitch, Pierson got the swing and miss from Prater, but the ball skipped to the backstop, allowing Prater to reach and the tying run to score. Moments prior, a check swing went in favor of Schaumburg, but largely due to the field umpire being stationed at second base instead of third.

Pierson escaped the inning with a strikeout of LF Aaron Simmons, but the damage was done. An even 3-3 score going to the 9th inning.

In the bottom of the 9th with two outs, the Boomers had 2B Alec Craig on first with DH Christian Fedko at the plate. Fedko served a Christian Scafidi delivery into the right center gap. With the ball hit fairly softly, the Boomers elected to send Craig around third to try to score the winning run, but the Crushers relay was in time to cut down the run. Extra innings in Schaumburg.

With the automatic runner on 2nd for extra innings, the Crushers would score a run off a sacrifice fly from Ronald Washington, giving them a 4-3 lead to try to hold on to in the bottom of the 10th.

RHP Trevor Kuncl had to deal with the automatic runner on second as well, but had the opportunity to add a tally to his league leading seven saves. The Boomers leadoff hitter grounded out, advancing the runner to 3rd with less than two outs. Then, Kuncl got Schaumburg clean-up hitter, Kyle Fitzgerald, to swing through a fastball for out number two. A clutch strikeout with a man on third.

With a flyout of Seth Gray, Kuncl nailed down the final out of the ballgame and completed his league leading eighth save for a Crushers 4-3 win in ten innings.

Christian Scafidi (1-0) pitched the scoreless 9th inning, giving him the win. Boomers reliever, Jake Joyce (1-2) gave up the lone run in the 10th to be tagged with the loss.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
Lake Erie Crushers 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 4 6 0
Schaumburg Boomers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3 7 0


The Crushers have an opportunity to extend their division lead over the Boomers again on Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30pm EST. Anthony Escobar (2-0) will start for Lake Erie, coming into the game with a 3.25 ERA.

Frontier League Standings: https://frontierleague.com/sports/bsb/2023-24/overall-standings

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