CRESTWOOD, IL – Markus Solbach pitched his first career complete game, shutting out the Lake Erie Crushers 9-0 at Standard Bank Stadium Tuesday night. The win kept the ThunderBolts playoff hopes alive, moving them four games out with eight games to go.
The Bolts got on the board for the first time in the third inning, scoring a pair of two-out runs. After Matt Smith retired the first two batters of the inning, Chase Tucker walked and Evan Button singled. A throwing error on the single allowed Tucker to score. They got their second run one pitch later on a Mike Torres RBI base hit.
Chad Cregar homered for the fourth straight day leading off the next inning and extended the lead to 3-0.
The ThunderBolts broke the game open in the sixth. Torres singled and Ryan Soares walked before Zach Aakhus singled in Torres. Andrew Brauer’s walk loaded the bases for Doug Joyce who singled home two more runs, making it 6-0. Jayce Ray’s sacrifice fly and Tucker’s RBI single made it 8-0 at the end of the inning.
The ThunderBolts’ final run came in the ninth when Button singled home Tucker.
The star of the game, though, was Solbach, who allowed only one man to reach second base through eight innings. At one point, he retired 18 of 20 hitters, with the only man to reach being Craig Hertler, who went 3-for-4 in the game.
Solbach (4-1) scattered seven hits in the complete game and did not walk a batter. He struck out seven. Prior to the complete game, his career high in innings was six.
Smith (5-5) allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings in the loss.
The ThunderBolts will try to make it two in a row against the Crushers on Wednesday night as Matt Wickswat (5-11, 4.87) gets the start. Lake Erie will counter with Alex Kaminsky (7-5, 3.50). It is $1.00 hot dog and soda night in the penultimate home game at Standard Bank Stadium this season. Fans not in attendance can tune into the broadcast on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.