ROCKFORD, IL – The Rockford RiverHawks scored three two runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the ThunderBolts 6-5 at Road Ranger Stadium Wednesday night.
The Bolts had an early lead when the second batter of the game, Nick Kuroczko hit his first homer of the year to put Windy City on top 1-0.
They added two more runs in the third on singles for Kuroczko and Jason James before a double for Mike Torres scored Kuroczko and an error on the play by catcher Gabe DeMarco allowed James to cross the plate.
That was all the Bolts would get for a while as Rockford slowly began their comeback, scoring single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Their first run came on a Luis Parache sacrifice fly. In the fifth, it was a David Cooper triple that brought home Freddy Parejo. Dustin Williams was chased from the game in the sixth when he hit Greg Van Horn with the bases loaded to tie the game, and Greg Johnson got out of the bases loaded jam. But The RiverHawks got to Johnson in the seventh, taking the lead on a Michael Hur RBI base hit.
Down by one in the ninth, Lee Rubin led off with a walk for the ThunderBolts and one out later, Brandon Anderson singled, advancing pinch-runner Tyler Keeble to second. Kuroczko walked to load the bases and Zach Aakhus’ infield single scored Keeble to tie the game. Jason James then grounded to second base and the RiverHawks could only get one out on the play. Anderson pranced across the plate to give the Bolts a 5-4 lead.
Wes Alsup, however, could not pick up the save in the ninth, walking David Cooper before Jake Eigsti’s single put runners at the corners with no outs. After Evan Button struck out, Hur, who went 4-5, singled home the tying run and Kevin Smith won the game on a base hit that scored Eigsti.
Corey Frerichs blew the save in the ninth but picked up the win (1-1) and Alsup took the loss (1-2).
The RiverHawks will go for the sweep on Thursday night at Road Ranger Stadium. The 7:05 ballgame will feature Bryant Cotton (6-8) pitching for the Bolts against Rockford’s Joe Scumaci (4-3). The broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.