Jun 13, 2024

Walks Bring Win Streak to a Halt in Schaumburg

Schaumburg, IL – Walks were the primary endemic for the Lake Erie Crushers (20-10) on Thursday afternoon as they dropped the series finale to the Schaumburg Boomers (19-10) by a score of 11-9.

The Boomers struck first in the 2nd inning with a two run homer by Aaron Simmons to take an early 2-0 lead.

The Crushers would cut that lead in half in the 3rd thanks to an RBI groundout by SS Jarrod Watkins, scoring C John Tuccillo, 2-1 Boomers the score.

Schaumburg would put LHP Matt Valin in a bind in the bottom half of the inning. Usually it’s a death wish when you walk three batters in an inning, but Valin escaped with just one Boomer crossing the plate on a sacrifice fly. Schaumburg led 3-1 after three.

With two outs in the top of the 5th, Jarrod Watkins would log his second RBI of the game with a single to make it a one run game, 3-2. Watkins’ two RBIs were his 14th and 15th of the season, and ten (10!) of those have come with two outs. Clutch hitting from the Lake Erie shortstop.

Seth Gray would respond back for Schaumburg in the home half of the inning with a single to extend a 4-2 lead for the Boomers.

But then, it was a swing from RF Jack Harris in the 6th that gave the Crushers their first lead of the game. Harris went to the opposite field with a deep fly ball that carried over the fence for a 3-run shot, making it 5-4 Lake Erie.

Matt Valin would be in line for the win after going 5 IP giving up 4 ER on 4 hits, surrendering 5 BB. RHP Leonardo Rodriguez would enter into the game for the Crushers in the bottom of the 6th.

A handful of defensive miscues from Lake Erie allowed Schaumburg to tie up the game at five. Jack Harris couldn’t keep a sinking liner in front of him, allowing C Felix Aberouette to reach second with one out. Then, Burle Dixon overran a ball struck up the middle, allowing Aberouette to score after initially being held up at third.

With the score 5-5, the Boomers would retake the lead in the 7th. LHP Kenny Pierson would walk the leadoff man, then give up a double steal. On the attempt, catcher John Tuccillo elected to throw behind the lead runner to second base. The throw bounced off the runner, just far enough away from Jarrod Watkins to allow Chase Dawson to score the go-ahead run. Seth Gray would score on a sacrifice fly a few pitches later to make it 7-5 Boomers. Four stolen bases in the inning and the two runs would be charged to Pierson.

Things would unravel in the bottom of the 8th for Lake Erie as RHP Enrique Ozoa walked the first three batters he faced. The Crushers dodged the death wish earlier in the game, but couldn’t avoid it twice. The Boomers ran it up for four runs in the frame, giving them a comfortable 11-5 lead into the 9th.

The 9th inning started fairly quietly against Schaumburg closer, Jake Joyce. Jarrod Watkins logged his 3rd RBI of the game with a groundout, putting two outs on the board. Then, after a Scout Knotts walk, Burle Dixon and LF Ronald Washington went back-to-back to add some drama to the end of the game. Unfortunately for Lake Erie, it was too little too late as Logan Thomason would be set down to end the game. The final, 11-9 Boomers, seven of their runs coming in the 6th inning and on.

Walks kill. Eight of Schaumburg’s eleven runs were walks that came around to score. Of those eleven runs, only eight were earned, as Lake Erie would have three errors in the contest. A frustrating way to end a series win against a division opponent.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Lake Erie Crushers 0 0 1 0 1 3 0 0 4 9 9 3
Schaumburg Boomers 0 2 1 0 1 1 2 4 X 11 7 0

 

Thankfully, it only counts as one. That’s the beauty of baseball. The Crushers will head to Florence, Kentucky to take on the Y’alls in a three game weekend series starting Friday, June 14 at 7:03pm EST (gotta love obscure start times).

The loss puts Lake Erie square at the top of the Frontier League West standings with Washington, who plays later on Thursday.

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

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