AVON, OH – The Lake Erie Crushers scored three early runs and outpaced the ThunderBolts 5-3 in the opener of a three game series at Sprenger Stadium Friday night.
Blair Beck hit a solo home run to lead off the second inning and the ThunderBolts (25-39) had an early 1-0 lead. That would turn out to be their only lead of the game as the Crushers (36-28) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning. The tying run scored on a double play and Aaron Hill’s RBI double put Lake Erie ahead 2-1.
The ThunderBolts responded quickly and tied the score in the third. Omar Obregon singled and moved to second on an error. He scored on an Axel Johnson single.
Lake Erie moved in front for good in the bottom of the third. Singles for Dane Hutcheon and Terry McClure put runners at the corners with no outs and they again scored a run on a double play.
Matt Brown doubled for the Bolts to lead off the fifth and made it to third base representing the tying run, but he was left there as three Lake Erie pitchers combined to retire the next 11 Windy City hitters.
Zach Racusin hit an RBI single in the seventh inning to put the Crushers up by two and Cody Lenahan’s solo home run in the ninth inning gave them their biggest lead at 5-2.
The ThunderBolts tried to fight back one more time as Johnson singled to lead off the ninth. He scored on a Tyler Straub groundout but was the only baserunner in the inning as Logan Lombana earned his fifth save.
Oriel Caicedo (1-1) allowed two runs in six innings for the win and Braulio Torres-Perez gave up four in seven innings for the loss.
Game two between the ThunderBolts and Crushers is set for Saturday night at 5:05. Eddie Avila (0-5, 6.75) gets the start for Windy City and Micah Beyer (0-0, 0.00) gets the call for Lake Erie. The broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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