CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts erased an early deficit with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take control of a 9-7 win over the Gateway Grizzlies at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.
Gateway (25-34) took their first lead just two pitches into the game as Paul Russo hit a leadoff home run. The Grizzlies added to it in the second, getting RBI doubles from Russo and Shane Mardirosian to go up 4-0.
Tim Zier put the ThunderBolts (21-35) on the board in the third inning when he followed a Joe Becht double with an RBI single.
Jhonniel Alvarez hit his first career homer in the fourth to move Gateway’s lead back to four at 5-1.
The ThunderBolts took over, though, in the bottom of the inning. Larry Balkwill’s two-run homer moved them to within one run before the big rally in the sixth. An error, a single and a walk loaded the bases before Riley Krane brought in a run on a hit by pitch. Tyler Straub tied the score, coming in on a wild pitch and Terrance Robertson gave the Bolts their first lead of the night with a two-run single. Robertson later scored on an error that made the score 8-5.
The Grizzlies got RBIs late in the game from Terry McClure and Trae Santos, but the Bolts picked up a big insurance run on a Zier RBI double in the eighth inning to secure their win.
Zac Westcott (5-7) picked up the win, allowing five runs over six innings with six strikeouts. Mike Elwood (4-6) gave up six runs (five earned) over 5.1 innings for the loss. Jack Andersen notched his third save of the year.
The ThunderBolts take to the road for a three-game weekend series with the Evansville Otters at historic Bosse Field. Jake Welch (4-3, 3.90) gets the game one start for the Bolts. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6:35 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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