AVON, OH – The ThunderBolts scored five runs in the first three innings on their way to an 8-4 victory over the Lake Erie Crushers at All Pro Freight Stadium Sunday night. The win moves the Bolts 1.5 games behind Lake Erie for the final playoff spot in the East.
Windy City loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs, but could only get one run, that on a Devin Shepherd sacrifice fly.
In the second, Chad Cregar led off with a double, but stood at third base with two outs before Brandon Anderson walked and Mike Torres singled home Cregar. Jason James’ single scored Torres, making it 3-0.
The Crushers tallied their first run in the second when Evan Sharpley walked and reached third on two Dustin Williams throwing errors. Sharpley scored on Kyle Shaffer’s infield single.
The Bolts jumped right back on Lake Erie starter Josh Roberts in the third, scoring two more times. Nick Kuroczko singled and Cregar reached on an error before Lee Rubin’s single brought home the former and Anderson’s two-out base hit scored the latter.
The score remained 5-1 against the Crushers bullpen until the sixth when Torres was walked and James was hit by a pitch. They both scored on a Shepherd single and accompanying Chris Luick error, giving Windy City their biggest advantage of the game at 7-1.
Things got hairy in the seventh when Williams walked the first two batters and was relieved by Matt Costello, who walked the next two batters. Jason Taylor’s single brought home two more runs, but Costello got the three outs he needed without allowing another score and the Bolts bullpen was not seriously threatened the rest of the game.
Zach Aakhus’ eighth inning home run put the game away and finalized the score at 8-4.
Williams allowed two earned runs over six innings and struck out five, giving him 138 for the season, tying Ross Stout’s 2009 team record. He improved to 11-5 with the win. Roberts fell to 8-6 and Durand picked up his first Windy City save, 17th overall.
After an off-day on Monday, the Bolts return home for a three game series against the Washington Wild Things. Tuesday, they will send Bryant Cotton (6-8) to the mound for the 7:05 start time against Justin Hall (8-6). It is 2-for-1 Ticket Tuesday at Standard Bank Stadium and anyone who cannot make it to the park can hear the audio broadcast on Sportsjuice.com.