ThunderBolts Drop Series Opener to Grizzlies in Extras


SAUGET, IL - A 9th inning, game tying solo home run off the bat off Brian Klein, coupled with 9 solid innings from ThunderBolts’ starting pitcher Bryan Ketchie, weren’t enough on Friday evening, as the Bolts (30-51) lose the series opener to the Gateway Grizzlies (38-44) 4-3 in 10 innings.

Windy City fell behind early thanks to a 2-run home run with 2 outs in the 3rd inning off the bat of Andrew Penner. They quickly answered in the 5th, however, when Brian Klein singled, stole second, and scored on rookie Jonathan Nieves’ RBI single.

In the bottom of the inning, the first professional home run for Grizzlies’ catcher Alex Hernandez, a solo shot, made it 3-1. The score remained 3-1 until the Bolts capitalized on two eighth inning Gateway errors that allowed Jairus Richards to score after singling with one out and stealing second base. His tally made it a 3-2 game.

In the 9th inning with two outs, Bolts’ newcomer Brian Klein smacked a solo home run to the grassy berm in right center field to tie the game at 3 apiece. ThunderBolts’ starter Bryan Ketchie worked 9 strong innings in the game, holding the Grizzlies scoreless in the final frame to force extra innings. All in all, Ketchie allowed 10 hits, struck out 7, and did not walk a single batter in the 9-inning effort.

After failing to score in the top of the 10th, Gateway’s Alex Hernandez bunted to lead off the bottom of the inning with the hope of moving the free runner from second into scoring position. An attempt by Payton Robertson to field the bunt and throw the lead runner out at third failed, and the Grizzlies had runners on the corners with nobody out. Windy City reliever Ryan Miler (1-2), who came on in relief of Ketchie to work the 10th, uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Jay Prather to score the winning tally for the Grizzlies. 

The Thunderbolts’ 9 game road-trip continues Saturday evening, with first pitch against the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget scheduled for 6:45. Windy City LHP Miguel Ausua (2-6, 6.11) will oppose RHP Steven Ridings (3-1, 5.44). Broadcast information can be found at wcthunderbolts.com.

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