CRESTWOOD, IL – Cody Gray shut the Windy City ThunderBolts out on just two hits over seven innings as the Florence Freedom defeated the Bolts 6-0 at Standard Bank Stadium Monday afternoon.
The Freedom (23-32) scored the game’s first run in the third inning when former ThunderBolt Travis Weaver singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. He scored on Daniel Fraga’s two-out single.
The ThunderBolts (26-29_ tried to respond when Johnny Eierman led off the bottom of the third with a double. Tim Zier walked to put men at first and second with one out. But Gray struck out Corey Bass and Zier was picked off to end the inning. The ThunderBolts did not have another baserunner until the ninth inning.
Florence doubled its lead in the sixth. Andre Mercurio walked and Taylor Oldham doubled him home.
Josh Henderson singled and scored on a Collins Cuthrell double to start the seventh inning, making the score 3-0. Cuthrell came home with two outs on an Andrew Mercurio bunt single.
Oldham picked up his fourth hit of the day, an RBI single in the ninth to put the Freedom ahead 6-0.
The ThunderBolts broke a string of 17 straight batters retired with back-to-back singles, but a double play ended their threat and the game.
Gray (3-1) allowed just two hits and two walks and struck out six for the win. Tyler Murphy (2-3) gave up four runs over six-plus innings and suffered the loss.
The ThunderBolts and Freedom continue their series with game two on Tuesday morning. The ballpark will once again be turned into a water park for Big Splash Day II presented by Pirate’s Cay Indoor Water Park. Kyle Von Ruden (Pro Debut) will start for the Bolts against Florence’s Marty Anderson (First Appearance). First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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