ThunderBolts earn first victory in pitchers' duel

Bolts 3 Crushers 0

AVON, OH – There pitchers combined on a shutout for the Windy City ThunderBolts as they picked up their first victory of the season, 3-0 over the Lake Erie Crushers at Sprenger Stadium Saturday night.

On a cold night, with the wind blowing in, David Oppenheim led off the game with a double for the Bolts (1-2) but did not score. It turned out to be the only extra base hit for either team all night.

In the bottom of the inning Lake Erie (1-1) put their leadoff batter, James Davison on base with a single and moved him to third on a steal and a wild pitch. He was stranded at third and no Crusher reached third base the rest of the night.

The Windy City offense didn’t kick in until Lake Erie’s starter, Greyfer Eregua, departed following five shutout innings. Jake Repavich, who walked only two batters in 34.2 innings in 2018, was the first man out of the bullpen and walked three in the sixth. The ThunderBolts got an RBI groundout from Derek Bangert and an RBI single from Patrick Mathis to take a 2-0 lead.

Brynn Martinez singled in the seventh inning and later scored on back-to-back errors to extend the Bolts’ lead to 3-0.

Meanwhile, after the brief first inning trouble, Christian Morris was not threatened the rest of the night. He threw six shutout innings, striking out six and allowing five hits as he earned his first win in a Windy City uniform. The bullpen was just as good, with Blake Hickman striking out three over two innings and Dylan Prohoroff earning his first professional save with a perfect ninth.

The win was the first for new ThunderBolts manager Brian Smith.

The Bolts will go for a series win on Sunday afternoon as Tyler Thornton gets his first start of the year on the mound. He’ll be up against former ThunderBolt Patrick Ledet, who makes his Lake Erie debut. First pitch from Sprenger Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 CDT and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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