Baseball: ThunderBolts top Lake Erie Crushers to improve to 5-0
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media May 21, 2014 2:36PM
Updated: June 24, 2014 7:29AM
In 2013, the Windy City ThunderBolts didn’t get their fifth win until their 18th game of the season.
This year, the T-Bolts are five-for-five.
Windy City topped the Lake Erie Crushers for the second day in a row Wednesday to improve to 5-0 with a 4-2 victory in front of 2,424 mostly young fans on School Day at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood.
“We’re getting off on the right foot,” Windy City designated hitter Kyle Robinson said. “It was great to open with two series at home. We’re getting wins in our park and establishing ourselves.”
While Robinson again as one of the offensive stars, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and run to maintain his Frontier League-best .667 batting average, it was the T-Bolts bullpen that perhaps was most responsible for the victory.
After Victor Larez left following four innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits in his first start for Windy City, the bullpen shut out Lake Erie (3-2) over the final five innings.
James Ferguson got the win in his pro debut, throwing 22/3 scoreless innings with two hits and two walks.
Ferguson departed with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh. Jessie Snodgrass came on to strike out Vincent Mejia to get out of trouble.
“When you come into those situations, you can’t mess around,” Snodgrass said. “I just want to get ahead and then when I do that, I can go to my slider and that’s what I did to (Mejia). It’s always an adrenaline rush coming into a situation like that. It feels good to get out of it and help out the guy who just left the mound.”
Snodgrass also pitched the eighth without allowing a hit before Daniel Carela worked around a walk in the ninth to earn his first save.
“It was nice to see Ferguson come out for his first appearance and pitch well,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “I know he had some nerves going. Then Snodgrass did his typical ‘Let’s get out of this jam’ thing, and Carela did a good job in the ninth.”
The game was tied at 1 — Robinson singling and scoring on a Matt Scioscia groundout for Windy City — before the T-Bolts pushed across two runs on four singles in the third.
After Nick Latta, Mike Torres and Ryan Soares produced base hits, a single from Ryan McIntyre (2-for-4) drove in two runs.
Robinson added an RBI double in the fifth.