CRESTWOOD, IL – Clay Chapman did not allow a hit until the seventh inning and gave up only one total in eight innings as he led the Windy City ThunderBolts to a 2-1 win over the Washington Wild Things in the home finale at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.
Chapman was a little wild early as he walked three of the first ten men he faced. He was able to pitch out of some early jams, though, and did not issue another walk after the third.
The Wild Things (45-47) also had a few early scoring chances curtailed by strong ThunderBolts defense as they hit into two double plays and were the victims of a diving Cody Keefer catch with a man on base in the fourth.
The ThunderBolts (41-51) meanwhile struggled to hit with men on, going 0-for-7 over the first five innings. In the sixth, they loaded the bases on two singles and a hit batter. Ransom LaLonde was then hit by his league-high 21st pitch of the year to force in the game’s first run.
They added one in the seventh. Larry Balkwill walked and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout. Coco Johnson singled him home to make it 2-0.
Chapman lost his no-hit bid when Grant Fink doubled with two outs in the eighth but he retired the final four batters he faced.
David Popkins broke up the shutout with a solo homer in the ninth.
Chapman struck out seven over his eight innings and improved to 9-7 in his last scheduled start of the year. Brandon Bixler (1-2) took the loss despite allowing only two runs in 6.1 innings. Brian Loconsole pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
The ThunderBolts will finish their season with a three-game series on the road against the Schaumburg Boomers. Game one on Friday will feature Zac Westcott (1-0, 1.06) on the hill for the Bolts against Schaumburg’s Scott Schultz (4-7, 5.68). First pitch from Boomers Stadium is scheduled for 6:30 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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