AVON, Ohio — The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, scored six runs off 12 hits to take game one against the Thunderbolts.
The Crushers (20-20) improve to 4-3 against the Windy City this season with the win. While the Thunderbolts (19-24) lose their eighth game in their past ten.
Dylan Mouzakes (3-3) started for the Crushers and is credited with the win after he dominated the Thunderbolts offense for seven innings. Mouzakes was perfect through three as he painted corners and pounded the strike zone all night long. He threw 7.0 innings, gave up one run off four hits, walked one, and struck out eight. Austin Jones (1-3) started for Windy City and is credited with the loss as he gave up five runs off of seven hits, walked one, and struck out four over his outing.
Lake Erie continued the trend of the road trip of scoring the first run of game. The Crushers offense have now scored the first run in four consecutive games. Jones walked Zach Racusin to lead off the inning but then retired John Cable and Dale Burdick with two fly outs. Brody Wofford roped a two out single off Jones to move Racusin into scoring position. During Bryan De La Rosa’s at-bat, Jones threw a wild pitch that advanced Racusin to third and Wofford to second. De La Rosa then hit a bases clearing double to score Racusin and Wofford to give Lake Erie the lead. James Davison Jr. scored De La Rosa moments later when he hit a triple to the wall to make it a 3-0 game.
De La Rosa got the offense going again in the top of the fifth inning with a lead off single. Davison Jr. followed up his triple in his first at-bat with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Steven Kraft wasted no time adding to Lake Erie’s lead and hit a two-run single to put the Crushers up by five runs.
Windy City’s lone run came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Patrick Mathis hit a solo home run off Mouzakes. Without Mathis, the Thunderbolts offense went a combine 2-20, with one walk, and eight strikeouts against Mouzakes.
Lake Erie added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning. Davison Jr. hit a single to start the inning, making him one home run away from hitting for the cycle. Davison Jr. then stole second for his 14th stolen base of the season to put himself into scoring position. One batter later, Kraft hit a single to put runners on the corners. Emmanuel Marrero then hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Davison Jr. for his 22nd RBI of the season and make it a 6-1 Crushers lead.
Jack Granath came on in relief for Mouzakes in the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings to shut the door on the Thunderbolts and secure the 6-1 win. Granath gave up just one hit in his outing while he shut down Windy City’s offense in the last two innings.
The offense had contributions from the entire lineup as all nine batters reached base safely at least once. But there were a couple that stood out among the pack. Kraft finished his day 3-5 with two RBI, Davison Jr. went 3-4 with two runs scored with one RBI and was a home run away from hitting for the cycle. And De La Rosa’s final line read 2-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
The Crushers will continue the three-game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts at Ozinga Field on Saturday evening. Right-hander Alex Romero (2-1, 3.12) will be on the mound for the Crushers. The Thunderbolts will go with right-hander Tyler Thornton (2-1, 2.81). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM.
The Lake Erie Crushers, the 2009 Frontier League Champions, and 2011 Frontier League Organization of the year, play ball at Sprenger Health Care Stadium, a 5,000 capacity stadium located in Avon, Ohio. The Frontier League is an independent baseball league with 10 teams operating throughout the Midwest. For more information on tickets, promotions and team news, visit the team website at www.LakeErieCrushers.com or call 440-934-3636.