NORMAL, IL – The Normal CornBelters scored six runs in the first inning Tuesday night and the ThunderBolts offense did not get going until the ninth as the Bolts fell to Normal 10-6 at The Corn Crib.
The CornBelters sent ten men to the plate against Bryant Cotton in the first inning and collected five hits including RBI doubles from Asif Shah and Brad Agustin. A key error by Nick Kuroczko also allowed a few extra runs to score as only two of the six were earned by Cotton.
The Bolts jumped on the board right away after the Normal rally, scoring their first run in the second. Chris Wade singled and scored on a Chad Cregar single to make it 6-1, but Steven Alexander answered in the bottom of the inning with his 14th home run of the year making it a six-run game once more.
Windy City got their second run in the top of the fourth on a Larry Pempek RBI single, but again, Normal answered. In the fifth, Shah doubled and scored on an Agustin single and in the sixth, with Daniel Cox on first, Alexander hit his second homer of the game making it 10-2.
The Bolts finally got some offense in the ninth after starter Bobby Pritchett departed. After a Cregar single, Larry Pempek hit the first home run of his career, and the Bolts then loaded the bases with one out, but reliever Marshall Schuler entered the game and, after hitting Zach Aakhus to force in a run, he retired the next two hitters on groundouts to end the game 10-6.
Pritchett allowed two runs in eight innings for the win (5-2). Cotton took the loss (3-3).
The ThunderBolts will try to break their season-long four-game losing streak Wednesday night in game two against the CornBelters. Dustin Williams (5-2) gets the start for Windy City against Brett Lester (4-2). The game will begin at 7:00 and can be heard on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com.