May 27, 2024

Free Passes Hinder Lake Erie as Crushers Drop Final Game of Chicago Circuit

Schaumburg, IL – The Schaumburg Boomers (10-4) spoil the final game of Lake Erie’s (9-6) road trip with a 5-3 victory on Sunday. The loss makes the Crushers 2-4 in the Chicago circuit and 1.5 games back of the Boomers in the Frontier League West standings.

LHP Matt Valin (1-1) made his third start of the season. He got off to a hot start with two perfect innings before surrendering a couple of walks in the bottom of the 3rd flanked with intermittent extra base hits by the Boomers lineup. The highlighter would be a two run homer by RF Chase Dawson to make it 4-0 Schaumburg.

The 3rd inning has been untimely for the Lake Erie Crushers since they hit the road, giving up thirteen (13) runs in the third inning alone in the last five games.

Crushers starting pitchers have struggled in the third inning, but recovered nicely. Valin did much of the same, finishing with 5.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 6 K. Walks continue to be the only thing inhibiting Valin in 2024, with two of his walks coming around to score on Sunday.

Like most games this season, the Crushers responded quickly with the bats thanks to a SS Jarrod Watkins 2 RBI single with two outs in the top of the 4th, cutting the Schaumburg lead in half, 4-2.

LHP Kenny Pierson would relieve Valin, giving up a walk and a hit by pitch before CF Brett Milazzo would double home a run with two outs, extending the Boomers lead to 5-2.

In the top of the 8th, DH Vincent Byrd Jr. reached on a dropped third strike, then scored on a wild pitch to get the Crushers back within two, 5-3, but that would be the end of the threat as the Crushers would strike out in order after LF Ronald Washington reached base. A rare four strikeout inning by Boomers reliever, Matt Helwig.

The Crushers would put runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 9th, but fail to score as Jake Joyce of Schaumburg got a backwards K of 1B Scout Knotts and a flyout from Vincent Byrd Jr. to end the game.

Boomers starter John Wilson (2-0) went 7 innings, giving up just the two runs on nine hits. Jake Joyce logged his 5th save of the year. The Crushers had a hit in all nine innings of the game, but couldn’t string hits together to get over the hump.

Crushers pitchers would give up just four hits to the Boomers lineup, but five runs on four hits would suggest the free passes were the culprit for the Schaumburg offense. Three of the five Boomers runs were walks or HBP that came around to score.

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Lake Erie Crushers 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 12 1
Schaumburg Boomers 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 X 5 4 0

The Crushers come back home 9-6 after a 2-4 roadtrip. They’ll take on the Florence Y’alls back home on Tuesday May 28th at 6:35pm EST. It’s “Bark In the Park” Night at Crushers Stadium as well as Dollar Dog Day in celebration of our favorite puppers.

You can watch the Lake Erie Crushers all season long at

Be sure to also follow the Crushers on Instagram/Facebook/X @LECrushers.




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