SAUGET, IL – The ThunderBolts took an early lead but the Gateway Grizzlies comeback was capped by a Blake Brown walk-off home run as they beat the Bolts 5-4 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark Wednesday night.
The ThunderBolts (16-31) scored three runs on just one hit in the first inning. With two outs, the inning was extended by a walk and an error. Larry Balkwill followed with a three-run homer, his sixth of the year as the Bolts went ahead 3-0.
The Grizzlies (21-29) got a run on a Brent Sakurai RBI single in the second inning and the score remained at 3-1 until the sixth as both Eddie Avila of the ThunderBolts and Gateway’s Taso Stathopoulos settled in.
Blair Beck doubled with one out in the sixth inning and the ThunderBolts extended their lead to 4-1 on a Tyler Straub RBI single.
Gateway immediately answered when Paul Russo hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. In the seventh, Joel Toribio issued three walks, including one with the bases loaded, as the Grizzlies tied the score at four.
Jack Andersen and Devin Raftery went on to retire the next seven consecutive Gateway hitters, but the Bolts did not score and, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Brown hit a line drive over the right field wall to deliver the Grizzlies a 5-4 win.
Former ThunderBolt Josh Glick (1-2) pitched two shutout innings for the win and Raftery (0-2) took the loss for the Bolts.
The ThunderBolts take Thursday off before resuming their road trip on Friday at Southern Illinois. Zac Westcott (3-6, 2.83) gets the start for the Bolts against the Miners’ Austin Dubsky (3-1, 5.59). First pitch from Rent One Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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