CRESTWOOD, IL – Stephen Sauer pitched seven shutout innings and Andy Mee finished the ThunderBolts’ second straight shutout as the ThunderBolts defeated the Traverse City Beach Bums 4-0 at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
Sauer and Traverse City starter Jacob Clem both looked sharp early on, but the Bolts were able to break through in the third. Zach Aakhus reached on an error, Travis Weaver was hit by a pitch and Chris Wade walked to load the bases with two outs for Chad Cregar, who singled home two runs. Four pitches later, when Cregar stole second base, Wade took off for home and made it without a throw, making the score 3-0.
From there, the pitchers took over once more. Sauer retired ten in a row between the second and fifth innings and Clem set down seven in a row after Cregar’s base hit.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Beach Bums mounted their biggest threat, loading the bases with two outs. On a full count pitch, Sauer struck out Jeff Flagg to end the inning and Traverse City only got one player to third base the rest of the night.
Cregar came up big again in the sixth, homering to right to give Windy City some breathing room and a 4-0 lead.
Sauer departed in the eighth having allowed seven hits and striking out seven and Mee came out of the bullpen. He threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts to preserve the shutout and the series victory.
Sauer improved to 4-1 with the win and Clem (2-3), who only allowed one earned run in seven innings, took the loss.
The ThunderBolts will welcome the Joliet Slammers to town for a three-game series starting Saturday night at Standard Bank Stadium. It is Jimmy Buffett Night and there will be a fireworks show after the game. Dustin Williams (4-2, 4.40) will get the start for Windy City against Joliet’s Tyler Ware (0-0, 5.40). The game begins at 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.