AVON, OH – The ThunderBolts took an 11-0 lead over five innings but saw the Lake Erie Crushers score 12 unanswered runs over the final three innings and lost 12-11 at Sprenger Stadium Tuesday night.
The first two batters reached for the ThunderBolts (48-43) in the first inning and Tim Zier’s RBI groundout got the scoring started. Larry Balkwill followed with a two-run homer to put the Bolts ahead 3-0.
They added three more runs in the second. After three straight walks loaded the bases, Coco Johnson’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0. Tim Zier followed with a two-run single.
Corey Bass hit a solo homer in the third and Balkwill hit his second of the game in the fifth. Johnson manufactured another run in the fifth inning. He walked, stole second and third and scored when the catcher’s throw back to the pitcher got away.
A two-run homer for Ransom LaLonde in the fifth inning capped the ThunderBolts scoring at 11-0.
Lake Erie began their comeback in the seventh when Bryan De La Rosa hit a three-run homer. A solo shot for Sean Hurley in the following frame made it 11-4.
The ninth inning is when the Crushers made their big move. The inning started with three consecutive walks before LJ Kalawaia doubled in two runs. Jordan Dean followed with an RBI double. After Hurley walked, Josh Glick was called in for the save but he was unable to retire any of the five hitters he faced. Cody Lenahan was hit by a pitch, Brandon Murray singled and Conner Simonetti tied the score with a two-run double. With the winning run at third, De La Rosa hit a grounder to third and Ryan Budnick’s throw home was wild to score Parker Norris.
Eli Dickens (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth for the win and Glick (5-2) took the loss.
The series will reconvene for game two on Wednesday night. Jake Fisher (9-7, 2.94) makes the start for the ThunderBolts against Lake Erie’s Juan Caballero (5-4, 3.44). First pitch from Sprenger Stadium is scheduled for 5:35 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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