MARION, IL – Chad Cregar hit a game-winning home run in the ninth inning, lifting the ThunderBolts to a 2-1 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park Saturday night. The win snaps a four-game losing streak.
Mike Recchia started for the ThunderBolts and did not allow a run over 6.2 innings, while striking out 11, his seventh double-digit strikeout game this year. He got Chad Maddox swinging to begin the second inning, breaking the year-old single-season strikeout record that had been 157, held by Dustin Williams. Recchia after the game was up to 167.
Offensively, Windy City couldn’t get rolling against Daniel Calhoun. They left the bases loaded in the fourth and didn’t get another baserunner until the eighth.
Bob Glover led off the eighth inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, C.J. Gillman grounded a single up the middle to score Glover and give the Bolts the 1-0 lead.
It was short-lived as the Miners plated their only run in the bottom of the eighth. A single and a bloop double put runners at second and third and Chad Maddox hit a sacrifice fly to tie the score at one.
Chad Cregar led off the top of the ninth and wasted no time putting the ThunderBolts back on top. He took the second pitch over the right field wall to give Windy City the 2-1 lead that would eventually be the final score.
Michael Click (3-1) pitched the eighth inning to earn the win while Gabriel Shaw (1-2) allowed the home run to take the defeat. Willy Kesler pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.
The win keeps the ThunderBolts one game out of a playoff spot.
The Bolts will continue their series with Southern Illinois on Sunday night. Blayne Weller (5-3, 4.28) will start game two for the ThunderBolts against The Miners’ Shawn Gilblair (10-5, 3.72). Windy City will be looking for the series victory with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 at Rent One Park. The broadcast can be heard on sportsjuice.com.