CRESTWOOD, IL – Todd Privett gave up just two runs in eight innings and the ThunderBolts put away the Normal CornBelters early in a 9-2 victory at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday night.
Windy City jumped on Normal starter Tyler Lavigne early, scoring three runs on only one hit in the first inning. After Mike Torres and Zach Aakhus walked, Devin Shepherd picked up a first-inning RBI for the fourth straight day on a single. Chris Wade then bunted Aakhus home and Lavigne’s throwing error brought Shepherd to third base, where he was able to score on a wild pitch.
The Bolts tacked on a run in the third when Torres walked, reached second on an error, moved to third on a Shepherd groundout and crossed the plate on another wild pitch.
In the fifth, Zach Aakhus was hit by a pitch and Shepherd scored him on a double. Shepherd went 3-5 in the game with two doubles. Later, Ryan Basham singled and scored when Chad Cregar’s single hit off the glove of right fielder Asif Shah and rolled to the wall.
Mistakes killed the CornBelters as four errors led to five unearned runs. Pitchers’ control was an issue as well. There were seven walks, two hit batters and two wild pitches in the game.
These miscues were most evident in the sixth, when the ThunderBolts scored three runs on one hit. They were benefitted by three walks, an error and a hit batter against a pair of CornBelter relievers.
On the mound, Privett didn’t need all the help. He was dominant through most of the game, striking out eight and not walking a batter. He allowed seven hits in his eight innings. The only problem he ran into was in the sixth. After a Frank Martinez single, Daniel Cox homered to left. Privett allowed just two other runners to reach second base.
Privett improved to 5-2 with the win and took the league lead with 51 strikeouts. Lavigne fell to 2-5 on the loss.
The series continues Thursday night at 7:05. Bryant Cotton (2-2) gets the start for the Bolts against Normal’s Bobby Pritchett (4-1). Thursday night is Bud Light Thirsty Thursday, meaning $1.00 domestic draft beer at Standard Bank Stadium. The game can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.