AVON, OH – Jake Vieth’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 12th inning ended a long stalemate and led the Lake Erie Crushers to a 3-2 win over the ThunderBolts at Sprenger Stadium Thursday night.
The Crushers (48-39) took the early lead with three hits in the first inning. Aaron Hill, who had singled, scored on a two out base hit from Jake Vieth.
They added a run in the fourth as Steven Kraft doubled and Dre Hubbard singled him home.
Jared Koenig held the ThunderBolts (37-51) to one hit through the first 6.2 innings but the Bolts got going with two outs in the seventh. Four straight men reached base. Micah Coffey started the rally with a walk and Tyler Straub singled. Zach Rheams came up next with an RBI base hit and Nate Montgomery tied the score with an RBI single, his first career hit.
The ThunderBolts didn’t get another hit the rest of the night as three Lake Erie relievers combined to strike out 13 batters over the final five innings.
Lake Erie had several chances to win in the late innings but left 12 men on base in the game. With the winning run at third in the tenth inning, Chase Cockrell threw Vieth out trying to score on a flyout to extend the game.
In the 12th, though, Vieth hit a fly out to rightfield that was deep enough to score the tiebreaker runner, Aaron Hill from third base to end the game.
Augie Gallardo (4-2) pitched the final two scoreless innings for Lake Erie and picked up the win while Sean Leland (1-3) took the loss.
Chris Washington pitched seven innings and allowed two runs for the Bolts and took no decision.
The ThunderBolts begin their final home stand of the season on Friday night as they welcome the Joliet Slammers to town. Game one of the series is on Jimmy Buffet Night at Ozinga Field, featuring a postgame concert by “Flip Flop Dave.” Hayden Shenefield (1-2, 7.48) gets the game one start for the Bolts. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
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