06/11/2019 8:28 PM
EVANSVILLE, IN – Austin Jones pitched six shutout innings but the bullpen could not hold a late lead as the ThunderBolts lost the opener of a three-game series to the Evansville Otters, 3-1, at Bosse Field Tuesday night.
The ThunderBolts (13-15) scored their only run in the top of the second inning when Tyler Alamo drew a leadoff walk. He stood at first base with two outs when Trey Fulton hit a line drive to left field. When Evansville leftfielder Keith Grieshaber made a diving attempt, the ball rolled by him, allowing Alamo to score on an RBI double.
Jones made that lead hold up as he ran into trouble just once. In the second inning, the Otters (16-12) put runners at first and second with no outs. Two strikeouts and a pop out later, Jones got out of the jam. After that, he retired 12 consecutive batters. He finished his time in the game with eight strikeouts and no walks.
Evansville finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth. After Blake Hickman recorded two quick outs, he walked David Cronin on four pitches and hit Grieshaber. Ryan Long came up next and jumped on the first offering, lining a triple to right-center field. An errant relay throw allowed Long to come all the way home and make the sore 3-1.
The ThunderBolts made the ninth inning interesting, putting two on with no outs, but Taylor Wright retired the next three batters consecutively to earn his second save of the year.
Chris Cepeda (1-0) picked up his first professional win with a scoreless eighth inning and Hickman (2-2) blew his third save and took the loss.
The ThunderBolts try to even up the series on Wednesday afternoon. They’ll send Chris Washington (0-3, 2.81) to the mound against Evansville’s Tyler Vail (1-1, 5.40). First pitch from Bosse Field is set for 12:05 CDT and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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