JOLIET, IL – The ThunderBolts’ losing streak reached seven games Friday night as they dropped game one to the Joliet Slammers 1-0 at Silver Cross Field.
The Slammers (26-17) scored the game’s only run in the second inning. Jake Gronsky and Casey Fletcher hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with one out. Hunter Ridge’s groundout brought home Gronsky to provide all the offense Joliet would need.
ThunderBolts starter Brady Muller ran into trouble only once more. The Slammers put runners on second and third with two outs in the third, but Muller struck out Marc Flores to end the inning.
The ThunderBolts (22-21) had their best scoring chance in the third. With two outs, Blair Beck walked and stole second. He tried to score on a Tim Zier single but was thrown out at the plate by Charlie White. Bolts manager Ron Biga was ejected arguing that Beck had not been tagged.
The Bolts didn’t get a runner to third base again until the ninth inning, when Taylor Smart and Ransom LaLonde singled to put men at the corners with one out. Kevin Simmons came up with a big strikeouts of John Williams before walking Beck to load the bases. Zier was the ThunderBolts’ last hope and Simmons got him to line out to short to end the game.
Shane Bryant (2-1) pitched seven shutout innings, striking out a season-high six and Muller took the loss, allowing just a run in 5.2 innings. He fell to 1-4 despite a 3.69 ERA.
The ThunderBolts will continue their three-game series with the first-place Joliet Slammers at Silver Cross Field on Saturday. Clay Chapman (4-2, 2.66) will make the start for the Bolts against Joliet’s Kaleb Ort (3-1, 4.50). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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