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Nation Flirts with No-No in 'Bolts loss

CRESTWOOD, IL— Mike Torres is now the all-time hits leader for the Windy City ThunderBolts, but that milestone would not come until the ninth inning as the ‘Bolts first hit of the night against Miners’ starter Blake Nation. Both teams weren’t able to score until the 9th inning as Southern Illinois (27-20) edged Windy City (19-29) by a score of 2-1 Wednesday night at Standard Bank Stadium.

Travis Tingle had an impressive night of his own for pitching six scoreless, allowing eight hits and stranding seven Miners on the base paths.   

Tingle’s night was overshadowed by Blake Nation who came into the game with a 6-0 record.  Nation allowed just four base runners in the first eight innings with Windy City’s biggest threat coming in the 7th.  The ‘Bolts moved Zach Aakhus over to third base, but with two outs Andrew Brauer struck out to keep the game scoreless.  

The ‘Bolts bullpen kept the game dramatic as both Colin O’Connell and Reese McGraw added goose eggs in the 7th and 8th innings. 

Things got extremely interesting in the 9th inning.

Jake Roberts took the mound in the frame and gave up a leadoff single to Cannon Lester followed by a bunt from Tyler Hall in which he reached on an error.  Carlos Colmenares laid down the second consecutive bunt and reached on Roberts throwing error.  That error allowed Lester to score and put the first run on the board 1-0 Southern Illinois.  Steven Liddle doubled the lead with a sacrifice fly to score Hall.

Nation was two outs away from Frontier League history, but couldn’t retire Mike Torres.  The Windy City second baseman recorded his 369th career hit as a ThunderBolt to end the no-hit bid.   That hit surpassed Gilberto Mejia as the all-time leader for Windy City hits.  Aakhus added more drama with a one-out walk putting Torres in scoring position and chasing Nation out of the game.  Race Parmenter came into the game and gave up an RBI single to Ryan Soares for the first Windy City run.  But the ‘Bolts couldn’t pull off the comeback completely, as the Miners’ evened up the series at one game apiece.

Nation (7-0) remains undefeated on the mound, while Roberts (0-1) picked up the loss, and Parmenter earned his 3rd save of the year.

Game three of this series will begin at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night at Standard Bank Stadium.  Brian Oliver (2-5, 5.81) will take the mound for Windy City against Southern Illinois’ Dayne Quist (4-2, 2.56).  Fans that cannot make it to “Bud Light Thirsty Thursday” can listen in on 88.3 WXAV FM and wxav.com.

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