Lake Erie pitching falters; Bolts offense ignites
CRESTWOOD, Illinois – For the first time this season, the Lake Erie Crushers were on the wrong side of the score while facing the Windy City ThunderBolts.
The Crushers (22-19) were unable to provide quality pitching for the final six innings of play as the ThunderBolts (15-25) collected the win with an impressive showing of offense.
After a rain delay of over an hour, the stage was set for the finale between the two Central Division rivals.
A couple of scoreless innings kicked the Sunday matchup into action at Ozinga Field. Lake Erie would strike first in its half of the third inning on a Trevor Achenbach infield single that scored Shawon Dunston Jr.
Windy City would retaliate when it came to bat next. Rob Weissheier blasted a triple that scored Jairus Richards to even the battle. The T-Bolts snagged their first lead of the afternoon thanks to a Jack Strunc RBI single.
Dunston Jr. came across to score again via a Javier Betancourt single in the top of the fifth to tie the ballgame at 2-2.
A couple of RBI singles and an error on account of Lake Erie garnished off a three-run fifth inning for the home team.
The sixth inning consisted of more runs for the ThunderBolts. A Peyton Isaacson single, scoring Rob Calabrese, extended the lead to 6-2. One more run crossed home in the frame on a fielder’s choice play.
A five-spot in the bottom of the seventh inning for Windy City ended any chances the Crushers had of making a comeback. An inning that Sam Curtis started was handed over to Paul Perez, who struggled to end the Bolts’ threat.
With the game out of reach in the ninth, the Crushers scored two runs. Betancourt reached home safely on a single from Achenbach. A Karl Ellison sacrifice fly allowed Isaac Benard the opportunity to score. That would be the end of the long afternoon in Crestwood as the ThunderBolts won by a score of 12-4.
Paul Hall falls to 2-2 on the year after receiving the loss Sunday. He worked 4 1/3 innings while allowing five runs on eight hits. He struck out seven batters along the way and walked three men. The win was handed to Miguel Ausua in a solid outing. His five innings of work filled with two runs on six hits were enough to move him to a 4-1 record this year.
Six Windy City batters had a multi-hit game, while Jake Hirabayashi tallied three walks for himself at the plate.
Up next for the Crushers is a six-game homestand in Avon. Lake Erie will face the Gateway Grizzlies in a three-game set starting Tuesday.
Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm.