Bolts 5 Rascals 0
CRESTWOOD, IL – Kyle Robinson hit a two-run homer and Matt Wickswat threw seven shutout innings, leading the ThunderBolts to a 5-0 victory over the River City Rascals at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
Robinson’s homer followed a Zach Aakhus single in the bottom of the second inning, giving the Bolts an early 2-0 lead.
That remained the score until the seventh. Wickswat allowed only two hits in his first six innings of work and rarely ran into trouble, but River City’s Tommy Mendoza matched him after the early home run.
The Bolts finally broke through again in the seventh. Evan Button singled and moved up on a balk and an errant pickoff throw. He stood at third with two outs when Ryan Soares dropped a bunt single down the third base line to score Button and put the Bolts ahead 3-0.
The Rascals made things interesting in the eighth, loading the bases with no outs on an Eric Williams double, Curran Redal single and Danny Canela walk. Jessie Snodgrass came out of the bullpen and got Phil Wunderlich to ground into a 5-2-3 double play before Evan Crawford grounded out to a diving Chase Tucker to keep River City off the scoreboard.
The Bolts would add two more insurance runs in the eighth on four singles. Jayce Ray and Button had the RBIs and Robinson and Tucker also had hits in the inning to secure the 5-0 victory.
Wickswat (5-10) allowed five hits with five strikeouts through seven innings for the win and Mendoza (4-6) took the loss despite giving up just two earned runs in 6.2 innings. Snodgrass earned his first career save, pitching two hitless innings.
The ThunderBolts and Rascals will re-up their rivalry on Saturday night for game two of the series. It will be Elvis Night at Standard Bank Stadium as well as the final fireworks show of the regular season. Daniel Cropper (6-4, 4.74) will start for the Bolts against Casey Barnes (6-3, 3.70) for the Rascals. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.