AVON, OH – Clay Chapman pitched his first career complete game shutout and pitched the ThunderBolts to a 4-0 win over the Lake Erie Crushers at Sprenger Stadium Thursday night.
The ThunderBolts (50-43) got started with solo runs in each of the first two innings. Coco Johnson hit a one-out triple in the first and scored on a Tim Zier groundout. Kyle Wood and Ransom LaLonde each drew a walk in the second inning and Blair Beck’s RBI single made it 2-0.
The lead was doubled in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases with one out on singles from Beck and Keenyn Walker and a Johnson Walk. Lake Erie starter Payton Lobdell came up with a strikeout for the second out of the inning but could not end the inning scoreless as Larry Balkwill singled home two runs.
That was more than enough for Chapman, who allowed a single on his first pitch of the game but retired the next seven batters. The Crushers (43-50) didn’t get another hit until the sixth and managed to get just two runners as far as second base over the first eight innings.
Chapman (5-6) allowed a leadoff single in the ninth to Sean Hurley but set down the next three men in order and ended the game with a strikeout of Conner Simonetti, his 11th of the game, a new career high.
Lobdell (6-8) allowed four runs in 6.2 innings and took the loss.
Coco Johnson finished with three hits and his two stolen bases gave him a single-season ThunderBolts record with 57.
The win keeps the ThunderBolts within a game of Washington for the final playoff spot with three games remaining on the schedule.
The ThunderBolts return home for their final three games of the regular season, taking on the Schaumburg Boomers on Friday. Zac Westcott (8-4, 4.36) gets the game one start against Schaumburg’s Kagen Hopkins (9-5, 4.36). The first 500 fans 21 and over will receive a pint glass from Lakeshore Beverage. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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