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Bolts can't hold leads in 8-6 loss

JOLIET, IL – The ThunderBolts lost three early leads to the Joliet Slammers Monday night, eventually losing 8-6 to drop the series to Joliet.

Zach Aakhus homered in the first inning to put the Bolts ahead 1-0. After Joliet tied the score in the bottom of the first, Evan Button’s second-inning homer made it 2-1 Windy City.

The Slammers would tie the score again in the third. Niko Vasquez walked and Marquis Riley’s fourth double of the series brought him home.

In the top of the fourth, the Bolts would take their final lead when Chad Cregar and Kyle Robinson drew back-to-back walks. Cregar would score on Andrew Brauer’s two-out single.

Joliet’s four-run fourth turned momentum and the lead in their direction. Kolin Conner led off with a double and scored when Matt Wickswat committed an error on Joe Meggs’s sacrifice bunt. Darian Sandford reached on a fielder’s choice that moved Meggs to second base. Meggs was later thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice, but a balk and Nick Akins’s 16th home run of the year scored the last three runs of the inning.

The Bolts loaded the bases in the fifth but scored just one run when Chase Tucker scored on a wild pitch.

They would load the bases again in the sixth, this time with no outs, but Chase Doremus came out of the bullpen and did not allow any runners to score.

Two errors contributed to the Slammers adding two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Marquis Riley brought two men in on a Button misplay.

The ThunderBolts scored their final two runs in the seventh. Chad Cregar picked up an RBI single and Zach Aakhus scored on a Kyle Robinson double play.

Brett Zawacki and Justin Erasmus combined to shut out the Bolts in the final two innings.

Chuck Lofgren (6-5) earned the win while Wickswat (4-10) took the loss. Erasmus secured his 17th save.

The ThunderBolts will take Tuesday off before returning to action at home on Wednesday against the Frontier Greys. Game one of the series will feature Daniel Cropper (6-4, 4.95) pitching for the Bolts against Joe Zeller (7-6, 3.70). First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on wcthunderbolts.com.

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