NORMAL, IL – The Normal CornBelters came from behind for the second straight night, sending the Windy City ThunderBolts to a 5-4 ten-inning loss at The Corn Crib Wednesday night.
For the first time this season the ThunderBolts scored first as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Ryan Soares led off the game with a single while Mike Torres followed with another base hit. Three batters later the hot-hitting Doug Joyce came up to the plate and drove in both Soares and Torres with a two-out single, putting Windy City on top 2-0.
That lead would quickly be cut in half as Pat McKenna launched a solo homerun over the left field wall to put Normal on the board trailing 2-1.
Recchia found his groove after the homerun as the Windy City hurler retired the next 12 CornBelters. That streak was snapped as T. J. Gavlik came up to the plate and on a 2-0 count sent another solo blast over the fence to tie the game up 2-2.
The ThunderBolts regained the lead in the top of the 7th inning. Adam Davis recorded his first base hit of the season and moved over to third base thanks to a single from Torres. With runners at the corners Torres stole second base to avoid the double play and Zach Aakhus responded grounding out, but pushing Davis home and putting Windy City on top 3-2.
Normal wasted no time in evening the game up as another solo shot gave the CornBelters their third run. Steven Felix led off the bottom of the 7th and sent the second pitch he saw over the right field wall. Recchia managed to strand a runner on third to end the inning and avoid any more damage. Windy City’s starter ended the day with 7 IP, 3 ER, on 4 hits, and 9 strikeouts.
The ThunderBolts took the lead one more time when Nathan Tomaszewski and Louie Templeton hit back-to-back singles in the eighth and Tomaszewski scored when Lyndon Estill’s groundball resulted in an error.
Leading 4-3 in the ninth, the Bolts surrendered the lead again when David Medina homered with one out off of Andy Mee, sending the game to extra innings.
After the ThunderBolts were set down in order in the top of the tenth, Normal won the game in the bottom of the inning. Santiago Chirino singled and moved to second on a hit batter. McKenna then singled on the second pitch he saw, bringing home Chirino and winning the game.
Alan Oaks (1-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win and Evan DeLuca (0-1) allowed the winning run, taking the loss.
The ThunderBolts will try to avoid the sweep on Thursday night as Matt Wickswat (0-1, 6.75) takes the hill against Normal’s Tyler Lavigne (1-0, 1.50). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 and the game broadcast can be heard on wcthunderbolts.com.