06/18/2019 9:06 PM
CRESTWOOD, IL -- A ninth inning rally by the ThunderBolts was cut short after they managed to get the tying run in scoring position, as the Southern Illinois Miners took game one of a three game series, 3-2, at Ozinga Field Tuesday evening.
ThunderBolts (17-17) starter Chris Washington made his sixth start of the season and pitched into the eighth inning, but his three combined runs allowed over the first two frames ultimately was his team’s undoing.
Southern Illinois (20-12) managed back-to-back singles to lead off the first inning, which was then followed by a third straight base hit by Gianfranco Wawoe that got the Miners on the board, 1-0. With Anthony Jimenez moving to third base on the play, Stephen Lohr grounded out to plate his team’s second run.
Then, in the second inning, Washington was ambushed by a leadoff double. With one out, Joe Duncan drove in the game’s deciding run on a double of his own. The Windy City starter settled in from there, as Washington managed 5.2 scoreless innings before being relieved by Blake Hickman with two outs in the eighth inning.
The Bolts offense got their first jolt against Miners starter Chase Cunningham thanks to Shane Carrier’s fifth home run of the season in the sixth. The solo shot cut the deficit to two, as Windy City put together rallies in the eighth and ninth innings, but could not get the tying run across the plate.
In the ninth with two outs, Brynn Martinez singled and Patrick Mathis drove him in one pitch later on a line drive up the right field line. Mathis was stranded at second base, though, as Manuel Mesa struck out to end the contest.
The ThunderBolts finished 0-for-10 at the plate with runners in scoring positon. Cunningham’s career ERA in seven starts at Ozinga Field is now 0.75 over 48 innings pitched.
Cunningham (5-2) earned the win after his seven one-run innings, while Washington (1-4) was hit with the loss. Gabe Genter earned his fifth save of the season after stranding the tying run at second base.
The ThunderBolts and Miners are back in action Wednesday at Ozinga Field for Palos Baseball Organization Night. It is also a “Win it Wednesday” at the ballpark, where fans in attendance will earn a voucher for any remaining Bolts home game should Windy City come out victorious.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:05pm and the broadcast can be heard through WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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