The ThunderBolts’ first seven batters reached safely on hits, and their five-run first inning was enough to propel them to a 5-2 victory over the River City Rascals on Wednesday night at Standard Bank Stadium.
After Brent Solich pitched a scoreless top of the first, Guillermo Martinez led off the bottom of the inning with a double. The next six batters all singled before River City starter Ryan Zink recorded his first out of the game, an RBI fielder’s choice by Bolts number eight hitter Donnie Ecker. Windy City also got RBI from Ryan Basham, Ryne White and Jeremy Hamilton, who was playing his first game in a Windy City uniform. Hamilton was signed after the trade of Tim Alberts to Sioux City of the American Association and the placing of Gilberto Mejia on the seven-day disabled list.
Solich pitched eight one-run innings his last time out but did not factor in the decision of a 4-1 14-inning loss. Wednesday, with a little more run support, Solich was again very good. He got into trouble just once. In the fifth inning, the Rascals scored two runs when Chris McClendon and Joe Chavarria each reached on base hits. The former scored on a wild pitch, the latter on a sacrifice fly.
The 5-2 score was as close as it would get in what turned out to be a good pitchers’ game. Zink lasted six innings, giving up nothing past the first and Keli’i Zablan threw two scoreless. Solich was followed up by Greg Johnson, Brandon Garner and Nick Hall, who each pitched a scoreless inning, Hall notching his sixth save. Solich improved to 3-3 while Zink fell to 1-1. The Bolts got the biggest offensive contributions from White and JT Restko who both had three hits.
Windy City wraps up their nine-game home stand Thursday night, a Bud Light Thirsty Thursday at the ballpark. The ThunderBolts will be going for a three-game sweep of River City with Ryan Quigley (2-2) on the mound against Zack Sterner (1-0). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The game can be heard live on WXAV 88.3 fm.