Matt Jernstad pitched seven scoreless innings and the Windy City ThunderBolts held off a furious Evansville rally as the ThunderBolts swept the Evansville Otters 7-6.
Thanks to the win and a Rockford win in extra innings over Southern Illinois, the Bolts will go into their showdown this week with the Miners tied for first place.
After both teams went down in order in the first inning, Windy City tallied the first runs of the game in the second. With oneout, Bryan Cook worked the count full before launching his 16th homerun of the season to center for a 1-0 Bolts lead. Kraig Binick followed with a single to right and Nate Hall came through with a double into the left-centerfield gap, scoring Binick for a 2-0 Windy City advantage.
It would get better for Windy City as Gilberto Mejia led off the third with a double, moved to third on a fly ball by Robert Perry and came home to score on a sac fly from Pete Paris, pushing the lead to 3-0. The Bolts would play small ball in the fourth as they plated three more runs on the strength of five singles and four stolen bases with a wild pitch mixed in.
Just as the night before, however, Evansville made it exceptionally tense, scoring six eighth inning runs, helped out by five Windy City walks and highlighted by a triple from Marcus Rose as the lead was sliced to 7-6. Also identical to the night before, Nick Hall was able to come in with one out in the eighth and record the final five outs, getting his tenth save of the season.
Hall’s heroics came in support of Matt Jernstad (6-4) who was fantastic going seven scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, striking out six. Kyle Dahman (1-4) took the loss for Evansville.
Windy City now has Monday off before starting a huge three game series at Southern Illinois. Ross Stout (12-4, 2.80) will go on Tuesday for the ThunderBolts against Brett Scarpetta (5-4, 3.48) for the Miners. The games on Tuesday and Wednesday will be aired on 88.3 FM, WXAV with the pregame show beginning at 6:45 both days. For game times, information or tickets, call 708-489-BALL or visit the team’s website at www.wcthunderbolts.com
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