SAUGET, IL – The thunderbolts stranded 14 men on base and went 0-11 with runners in scoring position Friday night as they lost their eighth straight game, 9-1 to the Gateway Grizzlies at GCS Ballpark.
The Grizzlies jumped on the board first, getting some help from Windy City’s wild starter Guido Fonseca. Fonseca walked four men in the first, including two with the bases loaded and Gateway led 2-0 after one.
Windy City cut the lead in half in the top of the second inning when Chris Wade hit his second home run of the year out to left field.
The score remained 2-1 until the fifth. Gateway’s DJ Fitzgerald led off the inning with an infield single, and, with one out, Joe Agreste doubled him in. Charlie Lisk followed that up with his 14th homer of the year, making it 5-1 Grizzlies.
The Bolts had plenty of opportunities to claw their way back into the game. In the third inning, they left runners on second and third and they stranded a man at third again in the fifth. In the sixth, thanks in part to two walks, they loaded the bases with two outs, but Andre Caceres got Quentin Luquette to ground out, ending the threat.
The biggest missed opportunity came in the seventh. With one out, Grizzlies reliever Nick Walters loaded the bases again on three walks. But former ThunderBolt Richard Barrett entered the game and struck out both Zach Aakhus and Chris Wade and the Bolts did not score.
Gateway added some late offense to hammer home their point, scoring on a Brian Harris RBI single in the seventh and posting three runs in the eighth thanks to an Agreste double and a Lisk triple. When Lisk scored on Kent Gerst’s groundout, it made the score 9-1.
Caceres pitched six innings and earned the win (2-1) and Fonseca took the loss, lasting just 4.2 (2-9). The loss drops Windy City to 35-35, the first time all year that their winning percentage has been .500 or lower.
Game two between the ThunderBolts and Grizzlies will take place at GCS Ballpark Saturday night. Matt Jernstad (5-6) will get the start for Windy City. He’ll be opposed by Gateway’s Ryan Juarez (3-1). The game begins at 7:05 p.m. CDT and can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.