Crushers Weather the Storm

Crushers Weather the Storm

A day after the Crushers scored 16 runs, they put five on the board and win the series.

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CRESTWOOD, Ill.  -- The Lake Erie Crushers defeated the Windy City ThunderBolts, 5-2, as the Crushers scored in four different innings, recorded nine hits, and took two of three games from the T-Bolts.


With the victory, the Crushers (8-2) win the first series at Standard Bank Stadium in franchise history and move into a tie for first place in the East Division. The loss for the ThunderBolts (9-3) marks their first losing streak of the season.


Lake Erie drew first blood on an RBI double by Jose Barraza in the first inning, scoring Carlos Avila, who had doubled in the previous at-bat. With two outs, Juan Avila then slapped a single into center which allowed Barraza to come around to score.


The third inning began with a double to right off the bat of Connor Oliver. With one out, Barraza hit a ground ball toward ThunderBolts' shortstop, Ransom LaLonde. LaLonde dove behind second base to keep the ball in the infield but Oliver continued around third and scored.


Windy City put their first run on the board in the fourth inning. Tim Zier led off with a double. The next batter, Blair Beck, hit a double off the wall in left field, plating Zier.


The Crushers added an insurance run in the seventh inning. A seven pitch at-bat for Parker Norris lead to a walk to begin the inning. Norris came around to score on a Brendan Costantino double to left field.


The Men of Crush did not stop there as they added a run in the top of the eighth inning, extending their lead to four runs. Carlos Avila hit a leadoff single and advanced to second on a wild pitch by ThunderBolts' Andrew Lowe. Avila scored on a William Beckwith RBI two-bagger down the right field line.


The T-Bolts would respond in the bottom of the inning as Trevor Longfellow surrendered a solo home run to Cody Keefer, his first homer of the season, cutting the Crushers lead to three runs.


Windy City threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning and had runners on second and third with one out and the tying run at the plate. Crushers pitcher, Mike Devine (1) was able to slam the door and pick up the save as he got Johnny Eierman and Corey Bass to swing and miss at strike three to end the game.


The ThunderBolts did not help themselves on the bases. Crushers starting pitcher Steve Hagen (1-0) picked off two T-Bolts in scoring position during his outing and Chandler Jagodzinski was able to pick off Coco Johnson at first base in the sixth inning.


Hagen went five innings for the Crushers, allowing one run on five hits and he struck out four batters, picking up his first win of the season. Jagodzinski, Longfellow and Devine pitched four combined innings out of the bullpen and only allowed one run, while striking out three as a group.


Windy City starter Brady Muller (1-2) pitched seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits. Muller also struck out six Crusher hitters. Lowe gave up a hit and a run but did not record an out before leaving with an injury. Brett Maus pitched two innings of scoreless relief.


Beckwith has now reached base safely in seven consecutive games and has an RBI in four of the last five Crushers games. Barraza has recorded a hit in six consecutive games, including four multi-hit games.


The Crushers will travel to Traverse City to battle the Beach Bums at Wuerfel Park beginning on Friday. The Crushers will send lefty Todd Kibby (1-0, 3.38) to the mound and left-handed pitcher Dylan Stoops (1-0, 0.84) will be going to the hill for the Beach Bums. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM.