CHILLICOTHE, OH -- Justin Tellam's power and hustle catapulted the Windy City ThunderBolts (50-33) to a 3-2 11-inning victory over the Chillicothe Paints (35-48) as well into sole possession of first place in the Frontier League's West Division.
The Southern Illinois Miners, co-leaders of the West Division entering the evening, were felled by a Kalamazoo Kings walk-off home run for the second straight game, falling by the same 3-2 score.
Chillicothe starter Andy Polk brought a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning. With one out, Wes Long lined a one-out single into centerfield. Two batters later, Tellam crushed his fourth home run of the season to tie the game.
Five scoreless innings followed before Edwin Walker (5-3) began the top of the eleventh by walking Mike Coles and Phil Hawke. Wes Long laid down a bunt single to load the bases with none out, prompting Paints manager Mark Mason to bring in Marty Wiesler. Josh Horn popped up for the first out and Tellam followed with a grounder to the left side of the infield. Third baseman Drew George cut in front of shortstop Travis Garcia to make the play, firing to second base for the force on Long. Tellam, however, beat second baseman Drew Saylor's relay throw to first base, allowing Coles to score with the go-ahead run.
Jason Lowey retired the side in order in the bottom of the eleventh to nail down the victory and finish off five innings of scoreless relief by the Windy City bullpen. Three of those innings were provided by former Paints hurler Brian McCullough, who worked from the seventh through the ninth innings.
Anthony Rebyanski (3-2) fired a scoreless tenth to earn the victory.
Windy City and Chillicothe play their season series finale on Thursday night at 7:05 at V. A. Memorial Stadium. Right-hander Stephen Flake (8-3, 4.53) will start for the ThunderBolts against Paints right-hander Andrew McCormick (3-8, 5.33).