Baseball: ThunderBolts roll past Lake Erie Crushers 7-3
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media August 28, 2013 10:34PM
Updated: August 28, 2013 11:00PM
As they struggled through the first half of the season, a lack of clutch, two-out hits was a big problem for the Windy City ThunderBolts.
Windy City scored five times with two outs in the sixth to move over .500 for the first time all season with a 7-3 win over the Lake Erie Crushers at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
The T-Bolts (45-44) loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth on singles by Zach Aakhus (2-for-4) and Jayce Ray (2-for-4) and a hit by pitch by Chase Tucker.
Evan Button (2-for-5, 3 RBI) then delivered a go-ahead two-run single up the middle to give Windy City a 4-3 lead.
“I had a feeling (Lake Erie reliever Mickey Jannis) was going to throw me a changeup,” Button said. “I wanted to wait for it to get to me and explode on contact.
“This clutch hitting is really contagious. All it takes is one or two guys to get going and everyone catches fire.”
After Mike Torres followed with another RBI base hit, Ryan Soares — whose single in the fifth was his 100th hit of the season — drove in two with a double down the left-field line for a 7-3 lead.
Windy City clinched the series win over the Frontier League East Division-leading Crushers (51-38) and remained four games out of the final playoff spot with seven to go.
Lake Erie led 3-1 before Button doubled home Tucker, who reached on an error, in the fifth.
The Crushers scored first with the help of two Windy City throwing errors in the first.
The T-Bolts also got some help in the bottom of the second. With two outs and Doug Joyce (2-for-4, double) on second, Ray popped up but catcher David Roney misjudged it and the ball fell untouched between home plate and the pitcher’s mound. Joyce scored on what was credited as an RBI double for Ray.
Lake Erie scored single runs in the third and fourth, with Russell Moldenhauer delivering an RBI double in the third.
T-Bolts starter Matt Wickswat produced a rare four-strikeout inning in the fourth. Kevin Berard reached on a dropped third strike wild pitch and eventually scored.
Wickswat (6-11) overcame his early struggles to turn in a solid outing. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking two in an 115-pitch effort.
Jessie Snodgrass, Wes Torrez and Reese McGraw all pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
“Those five-run innings like that weren’t happening early in the season,” said Soares, who finished 3-for-5. “It feels great. We’re putting together good at-bat after good at-bat and getting runs in.”