SAUGET, IL – Evan Button’s solo home run in the ninth inning broke a 3-3 tie and led the ThunderBolts to a 4-3 win over the Gateway Grizzlies at GCS Ballpark Saturday night.
Button’s homer was one of five combined solo home runs in Saturday’s game.
The action began in the bottom of the first when Michael Wing gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 edge on his first home run with Gateway.
The lead was short-lived as Andrew Brauer went deep for the second straight night in the second to tie the score at one.
Both teams had chances with runners in scoring position in the third and fourth, but no one would break through again until Chad Cregar’s seventh homer of the year in the fifth made the score 2-1. Like Brauer, it was the second of the series for Cregar.
Jose Flores’s long ball leading off the bottom of the fifth quickly retied the score at two.
The ThunderBolts manufactured a run in the seventh. Button hit a leadoff single and moved to third on back-to-back groundouts. With two outs, he scored on a passed ball to put the Bolts ahead 3-2.
Again the Grizzlies were quick to respond and in similar fashion. Flores walked and moved up on a sacrifice bunt and a flyout. Chris McClendon then knocked him in on his third single of the night, tying the score at three.
Richard Barrett came in to pitch for Gateway and retired the first five batters he faced until Button came up with two outs in the ninth and gave the ThunderBolts a lead they would hold.
Michael Click pitched a perfect final inning to wrap up his 21st save.
Reese McGraw (2-2) worked a scoreless eighth for the win and Barrett (2-2) took the loss.
The ThunderBolts will look for the sweep against Gateway Sunday night. Travis Tingle (4-5, 3.82) will take the ball for the Bolts against Gateway’s Jake Stephens (4-2, 4.33). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be found on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.