Baseball: ThunderBolts rock Lake Erie Crushers
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 29, 2012 11:02PM
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:03PM
The Windy City ThunderBolts continued to thrive in virtual must-win situations while the Lake Erie Crushers came undone Wednesday night.
The T-Bolts pounded out 14 hits and scored eight unearned runs on their way to their second straight win over Lake Erie, 9-5 at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“We know if we don’t win, we go home,” said Windy City’s C.J. Gillman, who had three RBI. “There was a period where we weren’t swinging the bats and we wanted to change that.”
Windy City (52-40) got no help elsewhere, remaining one game behind Schaumburg and Florence for the final Frontier League wild-card spot with four games left.
After Lake Erie (51-41) scored twice in the first, the T-Bolts responded with four runs in the second off Lake Erie ace Paul Fagan.
An error and a walk opened the door, and Windy City took full advantage as Travis Weaver (2-for-4) produced a two-out, two-run single. Gillman knocked him in with a base hit before Chris Wade (3-for-5) delivered an RBI triple.
The T-Bolts had the bases loaded with two outs in the third when Weaver struck out.
But the third strike hopped away from catcher Brian Erie, who was unable to recover quickly enough to force out Chad Cregar (2-for-4) at the plate. Gillman followed with a double that cleared the bases, an error allowing the third run to score for an 8-2 lead.
Mike Torres (2-for-4) produced an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
Lake Erie scored single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh, and brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the seventh, but Andy Mee got Wally Correa to bounce into a double play with the bases loaded.
Fagan threw on three days’ rest and lasted just three innings despite not allowing an earned run.
The T-Bolts could have countered by throwing ace Mike Recchia on three days’ rest, but instead went with Stephen Sauer (8-7), who won despite allowing five earned runs in 61/3 innings, leaving Recchia available when Windy City goes for the sweep Thursday.