KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- Brandon Parillo induced a game-ending pop-up from Gilberto Mejia with the tying runs in scoring position, ending a last-ditch Windy City ThunderBolts (4-9) rally in an emotional 9-7 loss to the Kalamazoo Kings (9-4) on Tuesday night at Homer Stryker Field.
After blowing two early leads and watching hitting coach/first base coach Kevin Wilson and pitcher Eric Fussell get ejected earlier in the game, the ThunderBolts entered the ninth inning down 9-4 to Kalamazoo. But Kings reliever Kevin Davis hit both Wes Long and Doug Coe with pitches and Brett Amyx lined a two-out RBI single to keep Windy City alive. Ben Barrone followed with a base hit of his own, loading the bases. Pinch-hitter Amos Ramon bounced a grounder to shortstop, but the ball scooted between the legs of Kyle Kmiecik into left field. As Coe scored the 'Bolts' sixth run, Barrone rounded second base too far and caught himself in a rundown. Amyx dashed for home in the confusion, scoring just ahead of the tag, and Barrone and Ramon each moved up a base.
Parillo ended all thoughts of a completed comeback by entering and retiring Mejia for the game's final out, recording his sixth save of the season.
The Windy City second baseman had begun the game with his first home run of the season, a drive that sailed down the right field line and ricocheted off of the foul pole.
The roundtripper came against Kings starter John Brownell (3-0), who fought through five innings to earn the win, allowing four runs (three earned).
He was assisted by an offense that knocked out ThunderBolts starter Jason Lowey after just 1 2/3 innings pitched, plating a pair of runs in each of the first two frames.
Fussell (0-2) rescued Lowey from the second inning, but served up a two-run homer to Jorge Araiza in the fourth and a three-run homer to Kmiecik in the fifth to suffer the loss.
He was later ejected from the dugout in the top of the seventh inning.
Wilson had been thumbed out of the game three innings earlier after arguing a call at first.
The two teams will play the middle affair of their three-game series on Wednesday night at 6:05 CDT, with ThunderBolts RHP Brock Hunton (0-0, 9.82) opposing Kings RHP Sam Mann (1-0, 5.11).