CRESTWOOD, IL – Matt Jernstad allowed just two runs on five hits in a complete game effort, but took his fourth complete game loss this season in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Rockford RiverHawks at Road Ranger Stadium Tuesday night.
The Bolts loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning. Mike Torres singled before Jason James, in his first ThunderBolt at bat, facing his former team, walked and Alex Chavez singled. Chris Nyman, though, struck out DJ Fitzgerald to get out of the inning.
Michael Hur homered to lead off the bottom of the second inning in his first professional at bat and put the RiverHawks up 1-0.
That homer was all that Rockford would need in the game, but they added another run in the sixth inning on back-to-back doubles from Evan Button and Jake Eigsti, making it 2-0.
The ThunderBolts had another good scoring chance in the seventh when they put runners at the corners with two outs. Torres hit a deep fly to left field but Button chased it down and made a nice catch on the run to rob the Bolts of at least one run.
Nyman departed after seven shutout innings, making 19.2 innings without allowing an earned run against the ThunderBolts this season. In the eighth, the Bolts mounted a threat against the bullpen, putting the first two men on base as James drew a walk and Aakhus singled. Two outs later, Chris Wade drew a walk to load the bases, but Lee Rubin lined out to second base to end the scoring chance.
In the ninth, Torres singled with two outs to bring up James, the all-time Rockford hits leader, representing the tying run, but Kyle Kriech struck him out to end the game.
Jernstad pitched all eight innings, allowing just five hits, but took the loss (5-9) while Nyman picked up the win (2-2). Kriech earned his first save.
Game two will be played Wednesday night at Road Ranger Stadium. The 7:05 start time will feature Dustin Williams (10-5) throwing for Windy City against Rockford’s Brett Scarpetta (6-5). The game broadcast can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.