Windy City got a strong effort from the pitching staff on Thursday night but Oakland County Cruiser starter Andres Esquibel was too much for the batsmen in a 5-1 Cruiser win at Standard Bank Stadium.
Joe Scumaci was making his first start of the season for Windy City and he was shaky early, walking two and hitting a batter to load the bases. Two of those runs came in to score, but Scumaci settled down after that point. He proceeded to retire 11 out of the next 12 batters he faced, the only mark on the record being a Ben Barrone second-inning home run that made the score 3-0.
The ThunderBolts did not pick up a hit until the fifth inning when JT Restko led off with a single. Mike Sullivan then walked with one out but both men were left on base.
In the bottom of the fifth, Joash Brodin’s two-run double knocked Scumaci out of the game and put the Cruisers on top by five. Ricky Meinhold and Ryan Quigley combined to go 4.a scoreless innings. The three pitchers collectively allowed just four hits and struck out 12.
The lone ThunderBolts run came in the eighth inning when Mike Sullivan reached on a single for the third Windy City hit. Two batters later, Dan Jordan knocked home his ninth run of the season for a 5-1 score, but the Bolts stopped there. Esquibel (2-2) threw eight innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out seven. Scumaci took his first career loss (0-1).
The ThunderBolts and Cruisers battle once again tomorrow night. Dustin Williams (0-0) makes his second ThunderBolt start and he’ll be opposed by Oakland County’s Kevin Asselin (4-0). The game, which starts at 7:05, can be heard live on sportsjuice.com.