FLORENCE, KY – Andrew Godbold hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning as the ThunderBolts dropped their second straight one-run game to the Florence Freedom 6-5 at UC Health Stadium Thursday night.
The ThunderBolts got off to a hot start with a four-run third inning. Ransom LaLonde was hit by a pitch and Keenyn Walker reached on an error. Riley Krane came up with a two-out RBI single before Larry Balkwill cleared the bases with a three-run homer.
The 4-0 lead did not last long as Clay Chapman lost his control in the bottom of the fourth. He walked five Freedom hitters in the inning, including four in a row with two outs. Florence had cut the lead to 4-3 before Garrett Vail hit a single to bring home two runs and give Florence its first lead of the night.
Kyle Wood tied the score in the top of the sixth inning with a solo home run before play was halted due to increasing rain. The game was delayed for an hour and eight minutes before the bottom of the sixth.
The ThunderBolts bullpen was excellent out of the break, holding Florence to one hit over the next five innings.
Offensively, the Bolts had some chances late. They loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but didn’t score. In the ninth, Blair Beck reached third base with one out but was stranded there.
The 11th inning began with a tiebreaker runner at second base for both teams. The ThunderBolts were unable to score and Brian Loconsole retired the first two batters, including a fielder’s choice to cut down the lead runner. A passed ball, though, advanced Collins Cuthrell to second base and Godbold singled on the first pitch he saw to win.
Jamal Wilson (2-0) threw a scoreless inning for the win and Loconsole (1-1) was the tough-luck loser, allowing one unearned run in 2.2 innings.
The ThunderBolts continue their nine-game road trip on Friday night when they start a three game series at Southern Illinois. Zac Westcott (5-4, 5.98) gets the game one start against the Miners’ Tyler Stubblefield (5-2, 3.57). First pitch from Rent One Park is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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