EVANSVILLE, IN – The ThunderBolts lost a four-run ninth inning lead Wednesday night, but came back in the eleventh to defeat the Evansville Otters 8-6 at Bosse Field.
The Bolts jumped on the board first with a Devin Shepherd RBI triple in the first and Matt Costello was excellent in the first three innings, maintaining the 1-0 lead.
Evansville plated their first run in the fourth inning when, with two outs, Jamar Walton singled and Mike Durant walked. Jon Waltenbury’s single tied the score at one.
Not to be deterred, Windy City scored in the sixth when Devin Shepherd singled. After Nick Kuroczko walked, Chase Porch came through with a run-scoring single.
This time it took just one half inning for Evansville to respond. Walton sent a home run in the bottom of the sixth over the right field wall to tie the score at two. Walton had three hits and three runs scored in the game.
In the seventh, the Bolts reclaimed the lead again on a Shepherd RBI double. He knocked in Brandon Anderson, who had singled, moved up to second on a Mike Torres bunt and stolen third. Then, in the top of the ninth, with two outs and runners on first and second, Zach Aakhus hit a come-backer to the pitcher, Drew Erwin, who threw the ball into right field. Both runners scored and Aakhus moved all the way to third base, which he soon vacated when Chris Wade brought him home on a single.
It seemed the Bolts had the game in hand, but in the bottom of the ninth, the Otters put up a four-run, game-tying rally. All the runs were given up by Wes Alsup, but the big hit came off Philip Roy. With two on and two out, Joe Spiers lined a double out to left center. Both Waltenbury and Vinnie Scarduzio came in to score.
The Otters were primed to win it in the tenth when they put their first two runners on, but Donald Jordat got two straight outs. Then, Brett Chamberlain singled to right and Alexander tried to win the game, coming around third, but Porch’s throw from right field nailed him at the plate and sent the game to the eleventh inning.
Torres led off the eleventh with a single off of Eric Massingham. Ryan Basham then came on looking to bunt, but with a 2-0 count, he pulled back and doubled down the right field line to give Windy City the 7-6 lead. They added another run on an Aakhus RBI single following a Shepherd single. Shepherd was the game’s star with four hits and two RBI.
Donald Jordat pitched two scoreless innings for the win (1-0) and Massingham took the loss (0-1)
The six-game road trip will continue for the Bolts tomorrow as Todd Privett (2-1) takes the Bosse Field mound for game three against Evansville. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Barry (1-2). First pitch is set for 6:35 CDT and pregame can be heard on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com at 6:15.