The Windy City ThunderBolts scored six runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn't hold down the Kalamazoo Kings in front of 1,538 fans at Standard Bank Stadium on Tuesday night as the 'Bolts lost 7-6.
ThunderBolts starter Tyler Kelsey pitched terrific in his first professional start going 6.1 innings giving up five runs, all earned, on six hits while striking out seven. He didn't give up a run until the seventh inning, but by then Kalamazoo had already started its comeback. The Kings got six runs in their half of the seventh to tie the game highlighted by an RBI-single off the bat of Joe Ramos to make the score even.
The Kings took the lead in the ninth off of Isaac Hess (1-2) who was pitching in his third inning of work. Brandon Anderson led off the inning with an infield single. Jeff Grose then struck out before a base hit by Jorge Araiza. Anderson took third on the play with the hit-and-run on. Ramos was walked to load the bases for Chad Rothford. Rothford hit a chopper to Josh Horn who went home for the force out, but Danny Sawyer's throw to first was wide and took Phil Hawke off the bag who couldn't catch the ball. As the ball rolled into foul territory, Araiza scored from second base for the go-ahead run.
Brad Parillo came in to pitch the ninth for Kalamazoo and set the 'Bolts down in order for his league-leading eighth save of the season.
Dan Baerlocher (1-0) picked up the win in relief for Kalamazoo going 2.0 innings of hitless ball while striking out four.
Windy City put up four runs in the fourth off of Kings starter Sam Mann and the inning was highlighted by two doubles off the wall. Wes Long hit one off the left field wall to score Gilberto Mejia who had just stole second base before the hit. Sawyer delivered a two-run double with two outs to cap the scoring in the frame.
Mejia then came up in the fifth with a runner on and belted his second home run of the season over the right field fence.
The ThunderBolts will play the second game of the series Wednesday night at Standard Bank Stadium at 7:05. It will be Palos Baseball night and there will be a post-game fireworks show following the game. It will be Joe Welsh (1-0, 7.45) for the Kings against Stephen Flake (2-1, 3.10) for Windy City.