Bums 3 Bolts 2
CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts erased a one-run deficit to take a late lead, but the Traverse City Beach Bums managed two runs in the eighth inning to earn a 3-2 victory at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday night.
Traverse City ambushed Windy City starter Eddie Avila in the first, as three pitches in, Orlando Rivera singled and Isaac Benard doubled him home to give the Beach Bums an early 1-0 lead.
Avila, though, would settle in. The right-hander retired 18 of the final 20 Beach Bums (39-46) he faced before being lifted with one out in the seventh inning.
The Bolts (36-51) offensively were blanked by Traverse City starter John Havird until the sixth. With runners at the corners and two outs, Derek Bangert lined a ball to centerfield that scored Tim Zier to tie the contest at one.
Following a Blair Beck single to load the bases, Axel Johnson trotted home thanks to a Matt Brown walk that gave the ThunderBolts a 2-1 advantage.
Traverse City came right back with two runs in the eighth thanks to a liner off the leftfield wall hit by Will Kengor. John Michael Knighton came on in the ninth and retired the Windy City side in order to earn his 13thsave.
Jack Anderson (2-5) took the loss after allowing two runs on a hit and two walks, while Tyler Barss (1-1) picked up the victory.
Avila took a tough no-decision after allowing one run on three hits while striking out eight in 6.1 innings. The rookie owns a 1.67 ERA over his last 27 innings pitched with 31 strikeouts.
The rubber game is scheduled for Thursday at 7:05. Patrick Ledet (6-5, 3.41) takes the bump against Traverse City’s Matt Murphy (3-4, 4.62).
It will be the final “White Castle Wrestling Thursday” at Standard Bank Stadium with a one hour postgame wrestling show put on by “Wrestle League.” The first 500 fans 21 and over to the ballpark will receive a pint glass from Lakeshore Beverage. Those not in attendance may listen to the broadcast live through wcthunderbolts.com.