CRESTWOOD, IL – Devin Shepherd went 4-4 and the ThunderBolts scored in double digits for the second straight day as Windy City defeated the Traverse City Beach Bums 10-6 on Friday night at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Beach Bums scored first with two runs in the bottom of the first on three singles including a Greg Burns knock that scored two.
The Bolts waited until the third, but responded and tied the game with a two-run inning. Larry Pempek and Chase Porch each singled and scored on a Mike Torres sacrifice fly and a Shepherd single.
After Jeff Flagg’s fourth-inning homer put Traverse City back up by a run, the ThunderBolts scored six times in the bottom of the fourth against Bryan Banes. Zach Aakhus doubled to begin the inning, and then the Bums committed back-to-back errors on sacrifice bunt attempts. The first scored Aakhus and got Chris Wade all the way to second and the second scored Wade and allowed Pempek to reach second base. Torres doubled home Pempek and Brandon Anderson, who had walked, and he scored on Shepherd’s second double of the game. With reliever Scott Dunn in, the final run crossed the plate on a Chad Cregar RBI single, making it 8-3.
Jose Vargas hit a solo homer in the sixth, cutting the lead to 8-4 in the sixth, but the Bolts offense retaliated in the seventh, scoring twice. Shepherd singled and Cregar doubled before an Aakhus sacrifice fly and a passed ball gave the Bolts a 10-4 advantage.
There was a scary moment in the eighth when Vargas hit a deep fly to left-center. Cregar and Anderson collided on the warning track while chasing down the ball and Cregar remained on the ground for several minutes. But he walked off the field under his own power and is not expected to miss any serious time.
The Beach Bums ended up scoring two runs in the inning, but Wes Alsup struck out the side in the ninth and the ThunderBolts won their third straight contest.
Bryant Cotton allowed four runs in six innings, picking up the win (5-4) and Banes took his first loss of the year (7-1).
The Bolts go for the sweep Saturday night at Standard Bank Stadium. The game is set to begin at 7:05 and a firework show will follow. It is also Country Night at the park. Nick Gaudi (0-0) will throw for Windy City and Nolan Shaffer (5-2) will get the call for the Beach Bums. The broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com.