Bolts bats silenced in 2-1 loss

CRESTWOOD, IL – Jake Fisher held the Gateway Grizzlies to two runs over seven innings but the ThunderBolts managed only four hits as they dropped the opener of a four-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies, 2-1 at Ozinga Field Friday night.

Colton Easterwood was making his professional debut on the mound for Gateway out of the University of the Cumberlands and he was masterful out of the gate, retiring the first six batters he faced.

ThunderBolt starter Jake Fisher did him one better. He set down the first seven in a row. But the Grizzlies (6-8) did strike first. In the top of the third, Justin Jones singled and Dustin Woodcock doubled him to third base. He scored on an Abdiel Diaz groundout.

The ThunderBolts (6-7) answered immediately. In the bottom of the inning, Jack Strunc hit a leadoff double. He was still at second base with two outs but Dan Robinson stepped up and singled him in.

The score remained tied at one until the seventh inning. Fisher got the first two outs without incident, but Nick Rotola kept the inning alive, beating out an infield single. The next pitch was doubled into left field by Andres Regnault, scoring Rotola.

That proved to be the difference as the Bolts weren’t able to respond this time.

For Easterwood (1-0), it was the first professional win as he went five innings, allowing only three hits. Fisher (1-2) was the tough luck-loser and Justin Watts earned the save.

The four-game series continues on Saturday evening. Miguel Ausua (0-0, 1.13) makes his second start of the year for Windy City against Gateway’s Aaron Ford (0-0, 2.53). The game will be followed by the ThunderBolts’ world famous fireworks show. Fans who can’t make it to Ozinga Field can find the audio and video broadcasts through wcthunderbolts.com.

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