CRESTWOOD, IL – The Windy City ThunderBolts scored three runs in the second inning and held the lead through the night as they opened a three-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies with a 4-2 win at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
Ransom LaLonde led off the second inning with a single for the ThunderBolts (28-30). Charley Thurber’s base hit put two men on in front of Taylor Smart, who also singled. Cody Livesay’s error in left field on the Smart single allowed LaLonde to score. Later in the inning, both Thurber and Smart would score on a Coco Johnson single, giving the Bolts a 3-0 lead.
Gateway (29-31) responded with a run in the fifth. Logan Davis singled and moved to second on a passed ball. He scored on a two-out base hit for Seth Heck.
The Grizzlies tightened the game further in the sixth inning. Brandon Thomas doubled and scored on a two-out single from Ben Waldrip.
The ThunderBolts had the leadoff runner on base in every inning between the second and seventh but struggled to add to their lead. Smart, who had reached on an error in the sixth inning, tried to score on a Johnson groundball but was thrown out in a close call at the plate.
Finally in the seventh, they broke through again. Tim Zier was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on another wild pitch to make the score 4-2.
Jake Fisher allowed two runs (one earned) in 5.2 innings and improved to 6-4 as he picked up the win. Adam Eggnatz (4-2) allowed three runs in five innings for the loss.
The ThunderBolts will try to make it two in a row against the Grizzlies on Saturday night. It is Christmas in July at Standard Bank Stadium featuring a pregame concert by the Beverley All-Stars. Clay Chapman (6-3, 2.77) will get the start for the Bolts against Gateway’s Will Landsheft (3-5, 4.77). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the game broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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