JOLIET, IL – The Joliet Slammers scored three runs on the first five pitches they saw and built a big lead before withstanding a big comeback from the ThunderBolts in a 12-9 final Sunday afternoon at Silver Cross Field.
Joliet (27-18) jumped on Windy City starter Jake Fisher immediately as the first two batters singled before Carter Bell hit a three-run homer. They added another run later in the inning on a Melvin Rodriguez groundout.
The Slammers made it 6-0 the following inning on RBI hits from Alfredo Rodriguez and Bell.
The ThunderBolts (23-22) scored their first run in the third. Kyle Wood was hit by a pitch and Larry Balkwill walked before Tim Zier singled home Wood. The Bolts had chances in the next three innings but grounded into three double plays.
Joliet got a solo home run from Joe Staley in the fifth and a pair of errors added another run to make it 8-1.
The ThunderBolts chipped away again getting a home run from Corey Bass and an RBI single from Wood in the sixth but Joliet came right back with three more runs in the bottom of the inning. Charlie White homered and Marc Flores and Jake Gronsky hit RBI singles.
Wood grounded into a bases loaded double play to score a run in the eighth for the Bolts and Flores hit a solo home run for the Slammers to make the score 12-4 heading into the ninth.
The ThunderBolts made it interesting as the first two batters walked. After the first out, Bass, Reggie Lawson, Ransom LaLonde and Taylor Smart each singled, bringing home four runs. A Larry Balkwill sacrifice fly made it 12-8 and two walks loaded the bases with two outs. Brent Choban came out of the bullpen and got Tim Zier to line out to end the game.
Sean Townsley (4-4) allowed three runs in six innings for the win and Jake Fisher (4-3) allowed six runs in two innings for the loss.
The ThunderBolts will take Monday and Tuesday off before returning to Standard Bank Stadium for an abbreviated home stand on Wednesday. They will host the Lake Erie Crushers in a doubleheader beginning at 5:05.
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