Andrew Werner struck out eight and earned the victory in his ThunderBolts debut Wednesday night and Windy City defeated the Normal CornBelters 5-3 at Standard Bank Stadium.
The game did not start out so well for Werner. He allowed a single to Eric Brown leading off the game and walked the next batter, Andre Alvarado before Daniel Cox’s single knocked Brown in for a 1-0 Normal lead. Windy City got that and one more in the bottom of the first. After Kent Gerst and Mike Sullivan walked, J.T. Restko broke out of an 0-17 slump by knocking in both runs on a single and giving the Thunderbolts a lead they would not relinquish.
Ryne White hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning to make the score 3-1 and Kent Gerst hit sacrifice flies in both the fifth and sixth innings to extend the lead to 5-1.
The CornBelters fought back against the Windy City bullpen, though. Werner departed after giving up one run over six innings and Normal scored in the seventh on a Cox RBI single. They added another run in the eighth when Mike Hughes reached on a walk and scored on Brown’s double. Brandon Garner got the final out though before Nick hall came in for the ninth and shut the door, striking out two in his third save of the year.
Werner improved to 2-1 on the season after his 1-1 start in Evansville. Kevin Kreier took the loss and dropped to 2-2, both losses coming to Windy City. The same two teams square off in game three of the series tomorrow with Brent Solich (1-2) on the mound for Windy City against Jaret Coker (0-1) for Normal. Game time is 7:05 with the game broadcast on WXAV 88.3 fm beginning at 6:45.