FLORENCE, KY – The ThunderBolts broke out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning Wednesday night, eventually hanging on for a 9-7 win over the Florence Freedom.
After Sean Gregory retired the first batter in the first inning, eight straight men reached base. Chad Cregar had an RBI double and scored on a C.J. Gillman single. Bob Glover’s three-run homer, his third of the series, put the Bolts up 5-0 and Mike Torres’s sacrifice fly finished the scoring in the first.
Florence clawed back with a run in the first on an Eddie Rodriguez double. They got four in the third when Drew Rundle hit his tenth home run of the year, a grand slam to bring the Freedom to within one. Florence completed their comeback with a two-run fourth. RBI went to Junior Arrojo and Peter Fatse as the Freedom took a 7-6 advantage.
The Bolts bats went cold after the first but picked up again in the seventh. Chad Cregar’s 24th home run of the year tied the score at seven.
In the eighth, the first two men reached and, with Bob Glover at third and one out, Jareck West’s sacrifice fly put the ThunderBolts back in front. Chris Wade’s solo homer in the ninth added some insurance in the 9-7 victory.
After Stephen Sauer struggled through four innings, the Bolts’ bullpen threw five shutout innings. Duke Dykeman, Shane Zegarac and Michael Click combined to do that work with Click recording the final four outs.
Zegarac (2-1) pitched 1.1 innings for the win. Brennan Flick (6-1) allowed two runs in relief for the loss. Click earned his second save in as many days and his second of the season. Combined with Gateway's 9-4 loss to Lake Erie, the ThunderBolts jumped over the Grizzlies for first place in the West Division standings by .5 game.
The ThunderBolts will go for the sweep against the Florence Freedom on Thursday night. Game three of the series will start at 6:05 CDT at The Home of the Florence Freedom. It will feature Mike Recchia (10-2, 2.31) on the mound for Windy City against Florence’s Brandon Mathes (2-0, 3.80). The game broadcast can be heard on sportsjuice.com.