CRESTWOOD, IL – Ransom LaLonde hit a three run homer and the Windy City ThunderBolts defeated the Joliet Slammers 6-5 to start 1-0 for the sixth time in the last eight years.
The ThunderBolts faced an early deficit as Joliet scored three runs in the top of the second inning. Carter Bell hit an RBI double before Melvin Rodriguez scored him on a two-run homer.
LaLonde answered in the bottom half of the inning. Reggie Lawson and Johnny Eierman led off the inning with back-to-back singles but were still on with two outs when LaLonde hit a line drive over the left field wall to tie the score at three.
The Bolts took the lead the following frame. After Coco Johnson walked and stole a base, Tim Zier singled him home. Zier would come home on an Eierman double to make it 5-3.
RBI singles for Bell and Marc Flores in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, tied the score back up but Windy City took over for good in the sixth. Cody Keefer singled and moved to second on a bunt before Johnson knocked him in on a single to make the final score 6-5.
Dan Child started for the Bolts but had to leave after just two innings. Five relievers combined to pitch seven two-run innings with Brandon Boyle (1-0) retiring his only two batters for the win. Marc Rutledge (0-1) took the loss, allowing one run in three innings. Cam Giannini pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.
After sweeping the one-game series, the ThunderBolts head out on the road to take on the Florence Freedom for a three-game series on Friday night. Brady Muller will make his season debut against Florence’s Jeremy Gooding in the Freedom’s opener. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CDT from UC Health Stadium. The broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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