05/26/2023 8:56 PM
CRESTWOOD, IL – Taylor Sugg allowed just one run on five hits over eight innings as the ThunderBolts captured the opener of a three-game series from the Florence Y’alls 2-1 at Ozinga Field Friday night.
Sugg was matched pitch for pitch early in the game by Florence starter Bobby Braband as both teams put zeroes on the board for the first five frames.
During the early pitchers’ duel, the ThunderBolts (6-7) threatened once, when Micah Yonamine doubled in the second inning but was stranded at third. Florence (7-6) didn’t have their first hit until the fourth inning and likewise put only one man in scoring position through the first five innings.
The Y’alls broke through for the first time in the top of the sixth when former ThunderBolt Brian Fuentes hit a leadoff double and scored on a Ray Zuberer base hit.
The Bolts were able to answer with their only offensive frame in the bottom of the sixth. Jake Boone doubled and tied the game when he scored on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, a Peyton Isaacson sacrifice fly gave the ThunderBolts the lead.
Sugg (1-0) dominated after allowing his lone run. He ended the game with six strikeouts in his longest career outing. Braband (0-2) was a tough-luck loser, allowing two runs in 5.2 innings. Daiveyon Whittle pitched a perfect ninth inning for his second save.
The ThunderBolts continue their seven-game home stand on Saturday as they try to take their second straight from the Florence Y’alls. Kenny Mathews (0-1, 7.00) is expected to make the start for the ThunderBolts against Florence’s Nate Florence (1-0, 0.00). It is Star Wars Night at Ozinga Field and the game will be followed by a fireworks show. First pitch is slated for 6:05 and the broadcast can be found through wcthunderbolts.com.
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