Crushers beat Thunderbolts 1-0 in 12 innings
AVON, Ohio -- The Lake Erie Crushers, presented by Mercy Health, took the rubber match of a three game weekend series at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Sunday afternoon, winning on a wild pitch in a 1-0, 12-inning victory over the Windy City Thunderbolts.
The win for the Crushers (2-1) was their sixth in their last seven games at home dating back to last season, while the Thunderbolts (1-3) have now dropped three of their first four games to start the season.
The pitching was terrific on both sides throughout the game. As a result, there weren't many chances to score. Lake Erie starting pitcher Pat Ledet, a former Windy City Thunderbolt, tossed six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits while striking out five. Tyler Thornton of Windy City threw seven scoreless innings and struck out seven while also allowing only two hits.
Lake Erie's best chance to score came in the seventh inning. Jake Vieth walked with one out before making his way to third on Zach Racusin's double to left. However, Thornton retired the next two batters to end the threat, getting Emmanuel Marrero to fly out to center and Doug Trimble to groundout to third.
In the 11th inning the International Rule came into play, where the batter who made the last out in the previous inning, begins the next inning on second base. Seth Lucio allowed Randy Perez on a bunt base hit, which put Joe Becht on third. Lucio then struck out Brynn Martinez, before getting David Oppenheim to ground into an inning ending 5-4-3 double play.
The Crushers went quietly in the bottom of the 11th, before terrific pitching and defense took center stage in the top of the 12th. Oppenheim began the inning on second base. Shane Carrier hit a fly ball to center which was caught by Bodie Bryan. Oppenheim tried to tag-up from second, but was thrown out at third by Bryan. Dash Winningham followed with a sharp line drive on the left side of the infield, but third baseman Sebastian Diaz made a great diving catch on it to end the inning.
Aaron Hill started the bottom of the 12th inning on second base. Diaz began the inning with a bunt base hit to put Hill on third. Dale Burdick was intentionally walked to load the bases for Jake Vieth. Chris Washington's (0-1) 1-0 pitch to Vieth bounced by catcher Tyler Alamo, and the wild pitch scored Hill from third to end the game.
Tanner Thomas (1-0) scored the victory for the Crushers, needing only four pitches to record three outs in the 12th inning for his first win of the year. Augie Gallardo and Kent Hasler each tossed two innings of scoreless relief as well. Washington took the loss after surrendering the unearned run in the 12th inning.
The Crushers are off on Monday but will begin a three game series with the Southern Illinois Miners at Sprenger Healthcare Stadium on Tuesday morning. Right-hander Dylan Mouzakes will take the mound for the Crushers and the Miners will counter with righty Ryan McAuliffe. The first pitch is scheduled for 11:05 AM.