Blanked by Windy City
Crushers shut out for the first time this season in 2-0 loss
CRESTWOOD, Ill. – The Lake Erie Crushers suffered their first shutout loss of the season on Sunday evening at Standard Bank Stadium, as they were held to just seven hits in a 2-0 loss to the Windy City Thunderbolts.
For the Crushers, (13-22) the loss marked their third in their last four games, and the victory for the Thunderbolts (21-14) was their fifth in their last six contests.
The only runs of the game were scored in the bottom of the first inning. As he did the night before, Devin Shepherd provided the Thunderbolts with an early advantage, as he tripled in a pair of runs in the home half of the first inning, scoring both Zach Aakhus and Brandon Anderson.
Windy City’s starting pitcher, Dustin Williams (5-2) threw 40 pitches in the top of the first inning, but worked his way out of a bases loaded jam by striking out Kellen Kulbacki. The Crushers did manage to hit safely seven times on the night, and they were able to put runners on base in all but two innings.
In the eighth, Patrick Norris started the inning with a walk, which was followed by Nick Mahin’s single. With two on and nobody out, Andrew Davis bounced into a 5-4-3 triple play. Davis hit a one hopper to third baseman Nick Kuroczko, who tagged third, then threw to second to retire Mahin, and Mike Torres’s relay throw retired Davis at first.
Jairo Cuevas (0-2) pitched well, despite suffering the loss. Cuevas retired 13 in a row after allowing a two out walk to Chris Wade in the top of the first inning. He lasted five innings, and allowed just a pair of runs on five hits with three strikeouts.
Travis Risser was sensational in three scoreless innings of relief. He entered in the sixth inning, and inherited a situation with runners at the corners and nobody out. Risser struck out Shepherd, got Chad Cregar to pop out behind home plate and Wade then grounded out to end the threat. Over his last four relief appearances, Risser has allowed just one run on six hits over 10 and two-thirds.
For Windy City, Williams took the victory after tossing seven shutout innings and fanned four in the process, while Wes Alsup (2) struck out three in the ninth to earn the save.
Eight out of Lake Erie’s starting nine reached safely at least once. Collins paced the Crushers with a 2-for-3 performance, delivering a pair of singles and a walk. Mahin extended his on base streak to 20 with a walk and a base hit. Jason Taylor’s single in the fourth inning brought his on base streak to 16 games, while Norris’s 10 game hitting streak, and his 15 game road hitting streak came to an end.
The Crushers will wrap up their three game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts at Standard Bank Stadium on Monday morning. Left hander Randy Sturgill (1-0, 4.50) will get the start for the Crushers, and the Thunderbolts will counter with left hander Matt Jernstad (3-3, 2.35) The first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.
by Andy Barch
All Pro Freight Stadium
2009 Baseball Boulevard
Avon, Ohio 44011