Late Rally Falls Short
Crushers score two in the ninth but fall to Thunderbolts, 4-2
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy, were limited to four hits on Wednesday evening at All Pro Freight Stadium, and though they scored two runs late, they still fell to the Windy City Thunderbolts, 4-2.
For the Crushers (14-12) the loss was their fourth in their last five games, while the Thunderbolts (18-11) snapped a season long, four-game losing streak with the victory.
Lake Erie wasn't able to generate much offensively, as they were held to four base hits on the night, and did not score until the bottom of the ninth inning.
Both starting pitchers shined during the first five innings of the contest. Steve Hagen (2-1) tossed five scoreless innings of work to begin the contest, while Windy City right-hander Clay Chapman (3-1) matched that with five scoreless frames of his own.
The Thunderbolts got on the board first in the top of the sixth inning. Cody Keefer reached on a one-out single through the left side of the infield, and scored two batters later on Corey Bass's two-out RBI double to the gap in left center.
Windy City added two more runs in the top of the seventh. Taylor Smart reached on a leadoff single, which began a string of three straight hits. Tim Zier's single was enough to bring Smart home, and Zier scored later in the inning on Ransom LaLonde's RBI single.
The T-Bolts scored their final run in the top of the ninth. John Williams reached on a one out single, before stealing second base, and scored on Zier's RBI single to right.
Back-to-back walks were issued to Carlos Avila and Jose Barraza to start the bottom of the ninth inning, before Bryan De La Rosa drove in the first run of the game on a RBI single to center. The single scored Avila and put Barraza on second base. Barraza advanced to third on a wild pitch, and eventually scored on Brady North's groundout. The Crushers had the tying run at the plate when Brendan Costantino grounded out to third to end the game.
Chapman scored the victory for Windy City, tossing 7.2 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits along the way, while Isaac Gil (4) scored the save after allowing a pair of runs on one hit in the ninth. Hagen took the hard luck loss after allowing just a run on seven hits over 5.2 innings of action with four strikeouts.
The Crushers will finish their three-game series with the Windy City Thunderbolts on Thursday night at All Pro Freight Stadium. The Crushers starter has not been announced, and the Thunderbolts will counter with right-hander Jake Fisher (3-0, 3.06). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.