MARION, IL – Tyler Straub tied the Frontier League record with six of the ThunderBolts’ season-high 23 hits as the Bolts defeated the Southern Illinois Miners 13-5 in the opener of a three-game series Friday night.
The Bolts (17-31) jumped on the board early, scoring three runs in the first inning for the third straight game. Tim Zier started the scoring with an RBI double and Blair Beck and Riley Krane each picked up RBI singles.
They added two more runs in the third as Straub and Joe Becht knocked out RBI base hits. The lead peaked at nine with four more runs in the fifth. Straub singled and the bases were loaded with two walks. Ronnie Healy brought home a run when he was hit by a pitch, Omar Obregon brought home two runs on a single, one of his four hits, and Zier drove in one of his four runs on a fielder’s choice.
The Miners (24-21) tried to make it a game with back-to-back home runs in the sixth from Kurt Wertz and Harrison Bragg, but their three runs were quickly answered. Zier hit a two-run single and Becht’s single made it 12-3.
After the Miners added two more runs in the eighth inning, the ThunderBolts answered with three hits in the ninth. One of the hits was Straub’s record-tying sixth. Another was Krane’s RBI single that put the final total at 13-5.
Zac Westcott (4-6) allowed two runs in 5.1 innings and picked up the victory. Austin Dubsky (3-2) allowed five runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings and took the loss.
The ThunderBolts and Miners will take Saturday off before wrapping up the series with a doubleheader on Sunday. Game one will pit Jake Welch (3-2, 4.47) against Southern Illinois’ Kurt Heyer (4-3, 3.06). Connor Bach (1-1, 6.31) makes the game start against Aaron Rozek (2-0, 2.84). Game one at Rent One Park is scheduled for 3:30 and both games can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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