It took a while to get started, but it was worth it for Windy City ThunderBolts fans Thursday night as Windy City took down the Kalamazoo Kings 8-0 in their season opener following a rain delay of 1 hour 18 minutes.
The ThunderBolts started the scoring in the second inning on a wild pitch. Ryne White led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a passed ball, and to third on a groundout. The team then broke through in the third posting four runs in the innng on four singles and a costly error. With Gilberto Mejia on third and Kent Gerst at first, J.T. Restko hit a long flyball to centerfield that J.J. Sferra chased down, but dropped, allowing both runners to score on the error.
Windy City scored three more runs in the fifth inning on a fielder’s choice and two errors. With White on third base Mike Torres attempted a steal of second base. Steve Malvagna’s throw sailed into center allowing White to score and sending Torres to third. Sferra’s throw to third then got away from third baseman Bryan Marquez allowing Torres to come in to score. That closed up the scoring at 8-0.
On the mound, Matt Jernstad was fantastic for Windy City going six innings and giving up just one hit, a fifth inning single by Brendan Murphy. Jernstad also struck out ten men, one shy of his career high. The bullpen was no less impressive. Bradley Blanks, Greg Johnson and Tom Mueller combined to allow just one hit and strikeout four batters over the last three innings on their was to the first shutout of the young season. Matt Jernstad picked up the win in the ballgame with Tyler Herron taking the loss for Kalamazoo.
The ThunderBolts continue their three game series with the Kings on Friday night at 7:05. The game will air on WXAV 88.3 fm. It’s a Budweiser Fill ‘R Up Friday with draft beers for just $1 all night.