NORMAL, IL – The Normal CornBelters hit two home runs in the sixth inning to erase a 2-0 ThunderBolts lead as they dealt the Bolts their fifth loss in six games on their current roadtrip.
Josh Spence started for the ThunderBolts and did not allow a hit through the first four innings. He had faced only one batter over the minimum through his first five shutout frames.
The Windy City offense gave him his first support in the fifth inning. With two outs, Ty Stetson singled and stole second base. Jon Mestas singled him in to make it 1-0.
The following inning began with Mike Torres getting hit by a pitch and stealing second. Kyle Robinson singled, moving Torres to third. Robinson then attempted to steal second and caught himself in a rundown, allowing Torres to score for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Spence recorded two quick outs before Jhiomar Veras homered to end the shutout. Santiago Chirino followed with a double and Mike Schwartz swung at the first pitch, hitting it over the right field wall to give Normal their first lead of the game, 3-2.
From there, the CornBelters bullpen did its job, retiring the final 12 ThunderBolt hitters to seal the win.
Jason Postill (2-0) pitched two innings of relief for the win and Spence (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings. Alan Oaks pitched the ninth for his sixth save. Chris Carmain threw five strong innings for Normal in his professional debut.
For the ThunderBolts, Kyle Robinson went 2-4, extending his hit streak to 19 games.
The ThunderBolts return home on Friday to begin a three-game series with the Rockford Aviators. Daniel Cropper (2-5, 6.92) will start for the Bolts against Rockford’s Josh Slaats (1-0, 2.81). It is Budweiser Fill ‘R Up Friday at Standard Bank Stadium with drink deals throughout the park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on meridix.com.