Dom Duggan’s grand slam and five RBIs took care of all the offense Lake Erie needed Monday night as the host Crushers defeated the ThunderBolts for the second straight night at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, OH.
Ricky Meinhold got the start for the ThunderBolts and pitched well in the first inning but had control problems in the second. After an Eddie Tisdale single, he walked Lee Huggins and Joel Collins to load the bases with one out. Meinhold got a big strikeout of Arden McWilliams but with two outs and a 1-0 count on Dom Duggan, the Crushers’ centerfielder stayed true to the name on the front of his jersey by knocking his first home run of the season out to left field giving Lake Erie a 4-0 lead. They would extend the lead the next inning when, with two out and runners at the corners, Duggan once again came up with a big hit driving in a run on a single.
The ThunderBolts had their chances against Crusher starter Matt Smith. Smith walked seven over seven innings and Windy City had men on base in all but the seventh inning. However, Smith allowed just three hits in his seven innings.
The Bolts’ best scoring chance came in the eighth inning against reliever Michael Raymond. They loaded the bases on a Ryne White single and walks for Tim Alberts and Donnie Ecker. But Raymond got out of the inning on a fielder’s choice and a strikeout. Windy City stranded 12 runners in all for a total of 23 in the first two games of the series.
Smith picked up his fifth win of the year in the 5-0 victory to just one loss while Meinhold took the defeat for the ThunderBolts (0-2).
The Bolts will try to stave off a sweep at All Pro Freight Stadium on Tuesday evening as Joe Scumaci (0-1) makes his second start of the season for Windy City. He will be opposed by Lake Erie’s Esmelvin Jimenez (2-2). Game time is 6:05 with the broadcast to be on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com.