Crushers drop series finale
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, committed a few costly errors and allowed three late runs over the final three innings of Sunday afternoon's game at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium, as they dropped the rubber match of their three game series to the Windy City Thunderbolts, 6-4.
The loss for the Crushers (36-30) thwarted an opportunity to score back-to-back series victories at home for the first time since the first home stand of the season. The victory for the Thunderbolts (27-39) was their fourth in their last five games.
Windy City struck first, plating a run in the top of the first inning. Omar Obregon started the game with a single to right field. A groundout moved Obregon to second and Axel Johnson brought him home a few moments later with a RBI single to right.
The Crushers tied the game in the bottom of the second inning. Zach Racusin started the inning with a single to right. Racusin then stole second base, and with two outs, Mason Brown delivered a run scoring single to left to score Racusin, tying the game at 1-1.
The Thunderbolts scored twice on three hits and took advantage of a throwing error to regain the lead in the top of the fourth. Larry Balkwill and Tyler Straub started the inning with back-to-back singles before Justin Sinibaldi struck out Blair Beck. Riley Krane then hit a ground ball to first, but Doug Trimble's errant throw to second brought Aaron Hill off the bag to load the bases. Two batters later, Joe Becht delivered a clutch, two out, two run single to center to give the T-Bolts a 3-1 lead.
Lake Erie went to work in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three times on four hits and took advantage of a throwing error to take their first lead of the game. Hill and Terry McClure started the inning with back-to-back singles. Racusin delivered two batters later with a RBI single to left. An errant throw the left fielder Terrance Robertson allowed Racusin to advance to second and McClure to third. Trimble followed moments later as he ripped a two run double down the right field line to give the Crushers a 4-3 lead.
However, Windy City would have the last laugh, plating single runs in the final three innings to pull away. In the seventh, Tim Zier belted a RBI single to center to tie the game at 4-4. In the eighth, Beck hit a solo homer to left, his eighth of the season to give the T-Bolts a 5-4 lead, and they added one final run in the ninth on Tyler Straub's RBI base hit to left.
Drew Peden (2-1) took the victory for the Thunderbolts, tossing 2.1 innings of scoreless one hit relief and Drew Raftery (9) scored his second straight save in the series after tossing a perfect ninth. Luke Watts (0-2) took the loss after allowing a run on two hits over two innings of relief.
Hutcheon and Racusin paced the Lake Erie offense with two hits each. Racusin had a big weekend for the Crushers, hitting .600 (6-for-10) in the series.
The Crushers are off on Monday but will begin a three game series with the Gateway Grizzlies at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Tuesday night. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 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 12 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.
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