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ThunderBolts lose late lead for second straight loss

Freedom 4 Bolts 3

CRESTWOOD, IL—In a series that featured a win for the team that scored second in each of the three games, the Florence Freedom (17-13) topped the Windy City ThunderBolts (11-20) in a 4-3 finish at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.

The ThunderBolts brought in the first run of the game in the 5th inning when Mike Torres hit a short pop fly to Junior Arrojo and C.J. Gillman tagged from third base and scored.

The lead didn’t last long as Florence grabbed a pair in the 6th inning.  Jacob Tanis doubled home J.C. Figueroa and came around to score on Jeremy Hamilton’s two-out single.

Windy City battled right back the next two innings plating one in each frame.  Adam Davis recorded an infield single to score Gillman in the 6th.  Then in the 7th Zach Aakhus hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Nate Pittman and giving the ThunderBolts a 3-2 advantage.

Matt Wickswat remained on the mound in the 8th inning and Florence retook the lead.  With one on and one out Tanis sent a full count pitch over the left field wall to put the Freedom on top 4-3.  That homerun finished a seven RBI series for Tanis.

The ThunderBolts would get one more scoring chance in the eighth when they put two men on base with two outs, but Brandon Mathes worked his way out of trouble, preserving the 4-3 score.

Mathes (2-4) picked up his second win in as many days, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings and Wickswat (2-4) took the loss, despite pitching a season-high 7.1 innings and striking out a career-high 12 batters. Jorge Marban pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.

The ThunderBolts begin a three-game series with the Rockford Aviators at home on Friday night. Daniel Cropper (3-1, 4.56) will make his fifth start for Windy City against Rockford’s Jon Gulbransen (1-2, 5.21) in game one. Fans that cannot make it to Standard Bank Stadium for Budweiser Fill ‘R Up Friday can tune into the broadcast on 88.3-FM WXAV or wxav.com.

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