SAUGET, IL – The ThunderBolts scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning to snap their four-game losing streak and defeat the Gateway Grizzlies 3-2 at GCS Ballpark Monday night.
The Bolts (17-11) had a chance to take an early lead when Ransom LaLonde singled in the second inning. Larry Balkwill advanced to third on the hit and when Matt Hearn juggled the ball in centerfield, Balkwill tried to score but was thrown out at the plate. The next pitch was singled to center by Will Krug. LaLonde tried to score but Hearn threw him out to keep the game scoreless.
Gateway (7-21) went ahead in the bottom of the second inning. Terry McClure walked and moved to third on an error with two outs. He scored on a Chase Simmons base hit.
That unearned run was the only one allowed by Brady Muller in seven innings. Muller struck out a career-high ten.
Andrew Dundon tied the score at one in the top of the sixth when he hit his first career home run.
Gateway came close to breaking the tie twice. They had runners at second and third in the eighth but Kevin Lenik ended the rally with two strikeouts. In the tenth inning, they loaded the bases with one out but Scott Kuzminsky struck out two to end that threat.
Blair Beck gave the ThunderBolts the lead in the 11th with a sacrifice fly, scoring tiebreaker runner Coco Johnson. Andrew Dundon, who had been intentionally walked, scored on a Balkwill single to make it 3-1.
The Grizzlies scored their tiebreaker runner in the bottom of the 11th but Brian Loconsole retired all three hitters he faced for his 11th save.
Kuzminsky (1-0) earned the win with two innings of relief and Javaun West (1-2) took the loss.
The ThunderBolts return home for the first time in 16 days on Tuesday with game one against the Florence Freedom. Kyle Von Ruden (1-2, 1.95) pitches against Florence’s Tony Vocca (3-2, 3.06) on $2 Ticket Tuesday at Standard Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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