Crushers thumped for fourth straight time on road, 9-0
CRESTWOOD, Ill. -- The Lake Erie Crushers lost their fourth straight road contest on Tuesday evening at Standard Bank Stadium, dropping the series opener, 9-0, to the Windy City ThunderBolts.
The loss for the Crushers (51-37) was their sixth in their last seven games, since winning 11 in a row, while the win for the T-Bolts (44-44) was their 16th in August, third most in the Frontier League.
Lake Erie’s offense was silenced by right-hander Markus Solbach (4-1) who went the distance to toss the complete game shutout. The Crushers had just four runners in scoring position all night long.
Windy City plated a pair of runs and capitalized on a pair of throwing errors with two outs in the bottom of the third. Chase Tucker walked with two outs to start the rally, before Evan Button singled to right field. Daniel Bowman’s throw from right to third base went up the line, and allowed Tucker to score. Andrew Davis retrieved the ball in foul ground, but his errant throw to home plate allowed Button to advance to third, and he scored moments later on Mike Torres’s single.
Chad Cregar led off the fourth inning with a solo homer, his ninth of the season, before the T-Bolts put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning. Zach Aakhus drove home the first run on an RBI single, and Doug Joyce singled as well to plate the next two. Andrew Bauer came home on Jayce Ray’s sacrifice fly, and Joyce scored on Tucker’s run scoring single.
The T-Bolts added one more in the eighth inning on a two-out RBI single from Evan Button.
Solbach picked up the victory, allowing seven hits and fanning seven in the process without issuing any free passes. Matt Smith (5-5) took the loss, after allowing seven runs, six earned on seven hits while fanning five over 5.1 innings of action.
Craig Hertler led the way for the Crushers, going 3-for-4 in the contest. Lake Erie pitching coach Chris Mongiardo was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing a call with the field umpire, Sal Giacomantonio.
The Crushers will continue their three-game series on the road against the Windy City Thunderbolts on Wednesday night. Right-hander Alex Kaminsky (7-5, 3.50) and the ThunderBolts will counter with lefty Matt Wickswat (5-11, 4.87). The first pitch is scheduled for 8:05 PM.