End of an Era
Ryan Feierabend finishes his 18-year career as Crushers fall 6-5
AVON, Ohio — Lake Erie Crushers lefty Ryan Feierabend pitched the final game of his remarkable 18-year career on Sunday afternoon at Mercy Health Stadium as the Crushers lost their third straight game to the Windy City Thunderbolts, 6-5.
The Crushers (39-50) have now lost three in a row and they’ve dropped eight out of their last nine at home. Windy City (41-49) has now beaten Lake Erie four times in a row.
Feierabend, a native of Grafton, Ohio, pitched at Midview High School and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 2003. He pitched in parts of five Major League seasons with three big league clubs. On Sunday afternoon, he tossed 6.2 innings and allowed just a pair of runs on four hits and struck out eight batters in his final outing, while taking a no decision. He left the game with the bases empty and two outs in the seventh inning to a standing ovation from the crowd at Mercy Health Stadium. He allowed two runs or less in each of his last six starts.
Windy City scored first in the top of the first inning when Rob Calabrese brought Peyton Robertson home on a sacrifice fly. The Crushers tied things up in the bottom of the second when Eric Callahan grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to score Karl Ellison.
The Thunderbolts regained the lead in the top of the third when Feierabend was called for a balk with Nikola Vasic on third base. Lake Erie tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning on Ellison’s solo homer to right, his eighth of the season.
The Crushers took the lead in the fifth, when Steven Kraft’s RBI single scored Callahan to give Lake Erie a 3-2 lead. They added to that in the fifth inning when Javier Betancourt brought Steve Passatempo home on a sacrifice fly.
Windy City was able to claw back within a run in the top of the eighth inning when Zac Taylor brought Jace Mercer home on a sacrifice fly. Lake Erie answered quickly in the bottom of the inning as Ellison struck again, this time with a two out RBI single to right.
Things fell apart for the Crushers in the top of the ninth, as Windy City sent eight batters to the plate and scored three times on three hits. Donivan Williams singled to start the inning before Vasic was hit by a pitch. Robertson then singled Williams home before JT Perez (1-5) struck out Mercer. Calabrese was intentionally walked to load the bases for Rob Weissheier, who belted a two run single to right.
Garrett Chrisman (1-1) picked up the victory for Windy City, allowing a run on two hits while fanning four over two innings of relief. Braden Bonner (5) worked a scoreless ninth inning to snag his second save in as many days. Perez took the loss, allowing all three runs in the ninth inning.
Ellison led the charge for the Crusher offense, going 3-for-4 and has hit safely six times in the series. Zac Racusin singled in his third at bat of the game and extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
The Crushers and Thunderbolts will finish their series at Mercy Health Stadium on Monday afternoon. Right-hander Sam Curtis (4-1, 3.15) will start for the Crushers and Windy City will counter with righty Logan Wiley (6-2, 2.85). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM.