CRESTWOOD, IL – Dustin Williams allowed only three hits in a complete game Friday night, but the ThunderBolts dropped the finale to the Traverse City Beach Bums 1-0 at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Bolts left 12 men on base in the game, including ten in scoring position, and their problem was evident in the first inning. After two walks and a double steal for Brandon Anderson and Mike Torres, Matt Smith got Devin Shepherd to pop out and struck out Zach Aakhus to end the threat.
Windy City left the bases loaded in the second, ended the third with a man on second base and stranded a man at third in the fourth.
The Beach Bums did not have a hit until the fifth inning, but they broke the tie in the seventh when Jeff Flagg was hit by a pitch to lead it off. With one out, Jose Vargas tripled to score Flagg. An errant throw on an attempt to catch Vargas at third was attributed to runner’s interference, so Vargas was called out after it had appeared that he would score.
It stayed 1-0 into the bottom of the eighth, when the Bolts had their best scoring chance. Torres and Shepherd both singled to begin the inning and another double steal put the tying run on third and the winning run on second with no outs. Aakhus reached on an error to load the bases, but Chris Wade popped out and Nick Mahin grounded into a double play to end the big opportunity.
The ThunderBolts got another man to second base in the ninth, but Scott Mueller got Chase Porch to fly out to center to end the game.
Smith pitched 6.2 innings for the win (1-4) and Williams struck out nine in the second straight Windy City complete game, but took the loss (8-4). Mueller earned his 15th save.
The ThunderBolts welcome the Rockford RiverHawks to town on Saturday night, fireworks night at Standard Bank Stadium. Bryant Cotton (5-5) takes the hill for Windy City against Rockford’s Chris Nyman (0-1). The 7:05 game can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.