Lake Erie beats Windy City in Homerun Derby
AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers erased a 2-0 deficit for the second night in a row, as they defeated the Windy City Thunderbolts in a Homerun Derby tiebreaker in front of a packed house at Mercy Health Stadium on Saturday night.
Lake Erie (18-16) is now 5-0 against Windy City (11-22) who has now dropped 11 of their 14 road games this season.
The homerun derby tiebreaker was instituted by the Frontier League about a month before the season began. If the two teams are tied after 10 innings, the game is determined by a three round Homerun Derby, with a fourth sudden death round if necessary.
The Thunderbolts put a small threat together in the first inning, but stranded a pair of base runners. They’d cash in during the top of the third inning, where they scored twice on four hits. Jake Hirabayashi started the inning with a double down the line in right, and he scored on a RBI single from Zach Racusin. Zac Taylor brought in the second run as he drove Dan Robinson home on a RBI double to left.
Lake Erie was pretty quiet all night long, until Connor Oliver brought the Mercy Health Stadium crowd to its feet in the bottom of the seventh inning. After Karl Ellison’s two out hit, Oliver smashed his second homer of the season, a two-run shot off the batter’s eye in center field to tie the game at 2-2.
In the top of the 10th inning, Jairus Richards belted a RBI single to center to give Windy City a 3-2 lead. Lake Erie was able to answer in the bottom of the 10th, as Javier Betancourt shot a single through the right side of the infield to score General McArthur.
In the first round of homerun derby, which included eight pitches per batter, Robinson didn’t hit any homers for Windy City, while Brody Wofford went deep twice. The second round saw Windy City’s Rob Calabrese homer twice, while Trevor Achenbach homered once. With Lake Erie leading the derby 3-2 heading into the final round, Windy City needed at least one homer to continue and Lake Erie to send Oliver to the plate, but Peyton Isaacson did not hit any homers, and the Crushers won the derby, 3-2.
There were no pitchers of record in the contest. Lake Erie’s Ryan Feierabend allowed a pair of runs on nine hits while fanning five over six innings of work. The combination of Sam Curtis and J.T. Perez combined to toss four innings out of the Crusher bullpen and allowed just an unearned run on a pair of hits.
Betancourt led the Crushers offensively with a trio of hits, going 3-for-4 while Oliver went 2-for-4 on the night with the homer and a double.
The Crushers will go for the sweep of Windy City on Sunday night at Mercy Health Stadium. Right-hander Aaron Glickstein (2-1, 5.00) will start for the Crushers and the Thunderbolts will counter with lefty Jake Fisher (2-2, 6.56). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.