Frontier League


ThunderBolts open season with wild walk-off win

CRESTWOOD, IL – Ronnie Allen Jr.’s three-run triple capped off a four-run ninth inning as the ThunderBolts came from behind to defeat the Evansville Otters in the season opener, 6-5 at Ozinga Field Thursday night.

After an hour and 23 minute rain delay, the ThunderBolts (1-0) got off to a sluggish start, falling behind 5-0 in the first inning. Windy City starter Taylor Sugg issued four walks and the Bolts committed an error, contributing to Evansville’s rally.

A run in the bottom of the inning brought the ThunderBolts to within one but both offenses cooled and the score remained 5-1 all the way into the seventh inning.

Four Windy City relievers combine to throw 8.1 shutout innings, striking out 14 to help keep the team in the game.

In the seventh, a Christian Kuzemka double followed by a Paul Coumoulos single brought them to within three, which remained the deficit until the ninth inning. The Bolts made it a 5-3 game on another double from Kuzemka, then a single and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Allen drove a ball into right center field that neither Patrick Lee nor Mike Peabody could bring in as they collided with each other and all three runs scored to win the game.

Tyler Naumann (1-0) pitched two shutout innings and was credited with the win while Leoni De La Cruz (0-1) allowed all four ninth-inning runs for the loss.

The ThunderBolts continue their season-opening seven-game home stand on Friday night with the start of a three-game series against the Tri-City ValleyCats. Michael Barker makes the start for the Bolts with first pitch scheduled for 6:35. It is Hispanic Heritage Night at Ozinga Field with a postgame fireworks show. Fans not in attendance can find the broadcast through

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