NORMAL, IL – Dustin Williams threw 140 pitches in eight innings and led the ThunderBolts to a 5-3 win over the Normal CornBelters at The Corn Crib Wednesday night. The win broke a four-game losing streak.
The game did not start well for Williams. After striking out the first two hitters, five straight CornBelters reached and Asif Shah and Tyler Keeble each drove in a run on a base hit and bases loaded walk, respectively.
Normal added to the lead in the second when Alvaro Ramirez singled and scored on a Daniel Cox base hit.
Windy City got their offense in gear in the fourth. Devin Shepherd led off with a double and Chris Wade doubled him in. Later in the inning, with two outs and the bases loaded, Brandon Anderson walked to score Wade. It was the third walk of the inning for Brett Lester. Mike Torres then singled to bring home two more runs and give the Bolts the lead at 4-3.
Meanwhile, Dustin Williams had settled down on the mound. He ended up going eight innings and throwing 140 pitches without allowing a run past the second. Williams walked four and struck out a career-high 11.
Zach Aakhus walked to begin the seventh inning and scored on a Chad Cregar single, giving Windy City the 5-3 lead heading into an eighth-inning struggle.
Williams walked both Keeble and Brad Agustin in that inning and a wild pitch moved them both into scoring position with two outs before Alvaro Ramirez grounded out to the pitcher, ending Williams’ day.
Wes Alsup came on for the ninth, and despite a one-out walk, got the job done for his third save. Williams improved to 6-2 with the win and Lester fell to 4-3 with the loss.
The rubber match of the three game series will take place Thursday at The Corn Crib. The final game of Windy City’s six-game road trip sees Matt Jernstad (3-5) get the start against Normal’s Michael Click (0-0). The game will begin at 7:00 and can be heard on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com.