8th Inning Costs Bolts

EVANSVILLE, IN – The Windy City ThunderBolts allowed four runs in the eighth inning in a series-opening loss to the Evansville Otters on Friday night at Bosse Field. It was the third straight loss for the ThunderBolts (9-11), all of which they were tied or ledin the seventh inning or later.

The ThunderBolts played with a lead for most of the night, beginning with a two-run first inning. After three straight Bolts walked with one out, Zac Taylor drove in the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice. The second run scored on a throwing error by Otters (15-6) third baseman Riley Krane.

Evansville tied the game in the third. J.R. Davis wrapped into a double play with the bases loaded, then the Otters drew even on a wild pitch. But the Bolts regained the lead in their next at bat on Rob Calabrese’s go-ahead single. Peyton Isaacson made it 4-2 Bolts in the fifth with an RBI single. Riley Krane’s sacrifice fly made it a one-run game in the bottom of the fifth.

Both bullpens were lockdown in the sixth and seventh. In the eighth, Calabrese delivered his second RBI single of the night to pad the Bolts lead.

The bottom of the eighth was the decisive inning. A bloop double by Bryce Denton began the Otters’ rally. Miles Gordon singled Denton home to reduce the Bolts’ lead to one run. After a pop-out and intentional walk, Krane came to the plate with the bases full and two outs. He lined a triple to right-center, clearing the bases and putting the Otters ahead for good.

Bolts’ starter Miguel Ausua did not factor into the decision. He went 4+ innings and allowed three runs. Layne Schnitz-Paxton tossed three innings of scoreless ball in his first career relief outing. Neil Abbatiello (0-3) allowed all four runs in the eighth and suffered the loss.

Samson Abernathy (1-0) earned the win. Logan Sawyer (5) notched the save.

Game two of the three-game series in Evansville is Saturday night at 6:35 CT. RHP Tyler Thornton (3-1, 1.92) takes the ball for the Bolts. Coverage begins at 6:20. Listen live at https://www.meridix.com/channel/?liveid=WCThunderBolts#/.

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