Justin Pickett hit two home runs, and the Florence Freedom knocked off the Windy City ThunderBolts, 5-2.
Windy City got on the board first with a third inning run. Guillermo Martinez led off the inning with a double, moved to second on a Vinnie Scarduzio walk, and stole third. Robert Perry brought him home on a sacrifice fly.
Both pitchers were excellent in the early innings. Dustin Pease gave up only 1 hit in the first four innings for the ThunderBolts, and Preston Vancil was not much worse giving up just the one run on three hits in that same span.
From then on, it was the Pickett show. In the sixth, he followed a one out Jay Johnson single with a two-run homer over the left field wall. Then, after Johnson led off the eighth with another single, Pickett took Pease deep again, to center field this time. Pease departed after that, and Ty Pryor gave up an unearned run on a Billy Mottram sacrifice fly.
The ThunderBolts made it interesting in the ninth, scoring on a Gil Zayas single, and eventually putting the tying run at the plate. But with two outs, Guillermo Martinez blooped one into right field that Johnson caught on the run to end the game.
Vancil (4-1) was outstanding, giving up one run in eight innings. Dustin Pease (8-6) took the loss, going seven and allowing four runs. The final game of the Florence series comes up on Thursday with Ross Stout (10-2, 2.09) on the mound for Windy City against Chuck Tiffany (1-1, 4.43) for Florence. Thursday is Thirsty Thursday at Standard Bank Stadium with 12 oz domestic draft beers costing just $1. For information or tickets, call 708-489-BALL or visit the team’s website at www.wcthunderbolts.com
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