The Lake Erie Crushers finished a dramatic three-game series sweep of the Rockford RiverHawks with a 1-0 win on Thursday at All-Pro Freight Stadium.
Kyle Weldon's two-out, pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning drove in the game's only run. The Crushers scored the deciding run in their final at-bat of each of the three games. Lake Erie took walkoff victories in each of the series' first two games.
Four Lake Erie pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout. Ben Klafczynski (3-1) pitched a perfect inning of relief for the win. Jonathan Kountis retired the side in order in the ninth and picked up his 13th save.
Three Rockford pitchers combined on a five-hitter. Rookie Kyle Lindquist made an emergency start in place of Nick Anderson, who was scratched just before gametime because of a sore back. Lindquist went 5 2/3 innings on 68 pitches, 41 for strikes, in his first professional start. Lindquist, who closed in college with back-to-back Division III national champion Marietta College, scattered three hits and struck out three. Lindquist and relievers Andrew Armstrong and Mickey Cassidy did not walk a batter.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Cassidy (2-2) gave up a leadoff hit to Daniel Bowman, the Crusher that ended Wednesday's game with a walkoff single. Robby Kuzdale sacrificed to move Bowman to second base. With two outs, Weldon entered the game and lined a single to left to drive in Bowman.
The RiverHawks were shut out for the fourth time in their last eight games at Lake Erie, going back to last season.
The RiverHawks open a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Windy City.
The RiverHawks' next home game is at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14, when they host Florence. Kids eat free on Tuesday nights with paid admission.
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