CRESTWOOD, IL— Every Windy City player contributed Tuesday night to an 8-5 comeback win over Southern Illinois. Tuesday’s win was the first time this season that Windy City (19-28) took a series lead over the Miners (26-20).
Southern Illinois was first to get on the board as the Miners hit back-to-back solo home runs in the 2nd inning. Both Jason Ganek and Corey Harrilchak went yard off of Daniel Cropper for a 2-0 lead.
Ryan Soares cut the lead in half with a solo home run of his own in the 3rd inning. The home run was Soares’ third of the year along with his 25th RBI.
The Miners took advantage of a few Windy City mistakes in the 5th and 6th and Southern Illinois grew its lead to 4-1. Cannon Lester reached on a walk and scored on a passed ball, while Gerardo Avila reached on a drop third strike and was singled home by Harrilchak.
Things opened up for the ‘Bolts in the 6th frame as they drove in five runs. Windy City loaded the bases to chase out Southern Illinois' starter Travis Bradshaw. Jeff Harkensee then ripped a two-run single off of Jon Mark Abbey. The bases would become re-loaded with ThunderBolts and a wild pitch by Abbey brought in the third run of the inning, tying the score. Nate Pittman delivered another two-run base hit to put the home team on top 6-4.
After Southern Illinois earned one of those runs back, the ThunderBolts manufactured two runs in the 8th to give them their largest lead of the night. Aakhus moved both Pittman and Torres into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, before Soares sacrificed home Pittman with a fly ball to right. Evan Button added one more with a two-out RBI single making the score its final of 8-5.
Cropper (5-2) picked up the win giving up four earned runs in six innings on seven hits. Abbey (0-1) took the loss while Michael Click earned save number ten on the year.
The ThunderBolts and Miners will commence Wednesday with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch at Standard Bank Stadium. Blake Nation (6-0, 2.53) will throw for the Miners against Windy City’s Travis Tingle (3-3, 4.05). Fans that cannot make the game can listen in on 88.3 WXAV FM and wxav.com.