NORMAL, IL – The ThunderBolts scored all they would need in the first inning Saturday night as a three-run frame propelled them to a 7-2 victory over the Normal CornBelters at the Corn Crib. The win evens the three-game series at one win each.
The ThunderBolts bats heated up early, scoring three runs in the first inning with a little help from Normal starter Tyler Stovall’s wildness. Chris Wade led off the game with an infield single before Mike Torres tripled him in. Zach Aakhus walked and Billy Nowlin singled home Torres. The rally concluded when Aakhus crossed the plate following a Robert Brooks error.
Windy City added a run in the second when Brandon Pearl led off with a walk, stole second, reached third on a throwing error and scored on a Torres single.
Stovall lasted just three innings, walking five. Overall, CornBelters pitchers walked ten hitters and the team committed four errors.
The Bolts extended the lead to 5-0 in the fifth when Chad Cregar hit the team’s first home run of the season.
The final two runs came in the sixth without a hit. Torres and Aakhus each walked and eventually scored on another Brooks error.
Mike Recchia started for the Bolts and was very strong, allowing just one unearned run in five innings of work. The highlight offensively for Normal came in the sixth when doubles by Steven Felix and Jovan Rosa produced a run.
The ThunderBolts finished with just six hits, but picked them up when they needed them, producing two multi-run innings. The bullpen again did its job, allowing only one run in four innings.
Recchia (1-0) earned the win while Stovall (0-1) took the loss for the CornBelters.
The finale of the three-game series in Normal is scheduled for Sunday evening. Duke Dykeman will be making his first career start for the ThunderBolts. His opponent on the mound will be Normal lefthander Justin Albert. Gametime Sunday night is scheduled for 5:00 and the radio broadcast can be heard on SportsJuice.com.