CRESTWOOD, IL – Jake Fisher pitched seven strong innings and moved into the league lead with his eighth win of the year as the Windy City ThunderBolts defeated the River City Rascals for the second straight night. 3-2 was the final at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday night.
River City starter Jake Negrete left with an injury after just one batter, so the ThunderBolts (34-34) faced reliever Reese Gregory when they got on the board in the second inning. Cody Keefer reached on an infield single and stole second base. With two outs and an 0-2 count, Smart singled Keefer home to make the score 1-0.
Larry Balkwill’s third homer of the year led off the third inning and put the Bolts ahead by two.
River City (30-37) scored their first run in the fourth inning when Alexi Colon and Robby Enslen hit back-to-back singles with no outs. Braxton Martinez’s RBI groundout brought home Colon.
Fisher did not allow another baserunner as he retired the last 12 batters he faced.
The ThunderBolts got the run back with two two-out hits in the bottom of the fourth. Ransom LaLonde doubled and on another 0-2 count, Johnny Eierman singled to score LaLonde.
The Rascals’ biggest threat came in the eighth when they loaded the bases with no outs on an error, a hit and a hit batter. Zac Westcott came out of the bullpen and got three straight groundouts, one of which produced a run, keeping the Bolts in the lead 3-2
Brian Loconsole pitched a perfect ninth for the save, his fifth of the year.
Fisher (8-4) allowed a run on six hits for the win while Gregory (3-3) gave up three runs in 3.2 innings and took the loss.
The ThunderBolts will play for the sweep against the Rascals on Thursday. Clay Chapman (7-4, 3.05) gets the start for the Bolts against River City’s Zeb Sneed (5-5, 3.21). It is a Pro Wrestling Blitz Thursday and Mr. Kennedy will be in attendance. There will also be discounted beer throughout the night for Bud Light Thirsty Thursday. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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