SAUGET, IL – Kyle Von Ruden pitched seven strong innings but the ThunderBolts fell to the Gateway Grizzlies 2-1 at GCS Ballpark Sunday night.
Sam Fischer provided the early offense for the Grizzlies (34-34) as he swung at the first pitch of the third inning and hit his seventh home run of the year to put Gateway ahead 1-0.
The ThunderBolts (32-34) had good scoring chances in each of the first three innings but could not break through. Tim Zier doubled with one out in the first but was left at second.
In the second inning, back-to-back hits put men at second and third with no outs but Jon Jones came up with two strikeouts and pitched out of the inning.
In the fourth, two walks began the inning but Windy City’s offense stalled as they could not advance the runners.
Gateway added to their lead in the seventh when Craig Massoni hit a leadoff double. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on Zach Lavy’s sacrifice fly.
The Bolts got on the board in the eighth as Larry Balkwill singled and Coco Johnson reached on an error. They were bunted forward by Zier and Ransom LaLonde’s sacrifice fly made the score 2-1.
After a 1-2-3 inning for Zac Westcott kept the game close, the Bolts could not generate offense against Will LaMarche in the ninth as LaMarche picked up his third save.
Jones (3-2) threw seven shutout innings for the win and Von Ruden (1-2) took the loss despite allowing only two runs on four hits.
The ThunderBolts take Monday off before returning home to begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday. The Bolts will get their first look of the year at the River City Rascals with Brady Muller (2-6, 4.07) on the mound. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and all tickets are only two dollars. Those not in attendance can hear the broadcast through wcthunderbolts.com.
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