CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts were unable to hold on to two early leads Thursday night as the Florence Freedom scored two runs in the fifth inning to complete a three game sweep of the ThunderBolts in a 5-3 game at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Freedom (21-9) struck first as they loaded the bases with no outs in the first. Clay Chapman came back with two strikeouts before a Jordan Brower single scored the game’s first run.
The ThunderBolts (17-14) were quick to respond as they loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame. Tim Zier’s single scored Coco Johnson to tie it at one and Blair Beck put the Bolts ahead with a sacrifice fly.
Jose Brizuela tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the third inning for Florence, tying the score back up at two.
The Bolts jumped ahead again in the bottom of the fourth. Keenyn Walker was hit by a pitch and Coco Johnson walked and both men advanced on a balk. Walker scored on an errant pickoff throw to make the score 3-2. Johnson tried to score on an apparent wild pitch, but catcher Garrett Vail threw him out at the plate to prevent the fourth run from scoring.
Florence came back once again the following inning with back-to-back triples from Daniel Fraga and Nate Ferrell. Ferrell scored on a Brizuela sacrifice fly. The Freedom put the game away with a Jordan Brower sacrifice fly in the eighth.
The Bolts loaded the bases but couldn’t score in the seventh. They stranded 11 men total, seven in scoring position.
Cody Gray (5-1) allowed three runs in six innings for the win and Clay Chapman (0-4) allowed four runs in six innings for the loss. Laetten Galbraith picked up his first career save.
The ThunderBolts welcome the River City Rascals to town on Friday. Zac Westcott (4-1, 3.65) gets the start against River City’s Hector Hernandez (2-3, 3.22). Friday’s game features $3.00 U-Call it drinks and $1.50 domestic draft beer at Standard Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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