Belters 8 Bolts 2
NORMAL, IL – The ThunderBolts were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday night as the Normal CornBelters scored eight unanswered runs to take an 8-2 decision from the ThunderBolts at The Corn Crib.
Windy City’s Brian Oliver and Normal’s Drew Provence dueled to a scoreless tie through four innings but the Bolts broke the tie in the fifth when Zach Aakhus led off with a triple. He was brought home on a Doug Joyce sacrifice fly.
The ThunderBolts extended their lead to 2-0 in the sixth when Mike Torres walked and Ryan Soares singled. With two outs, Aakhus singled home Torres.
The CornBelters finally broke through, though, in the sixth, scoring three runs, all with two outs. Oscar Garcia singled and stole second in front of an RBI base hit from Tyler Shover. Shover advanced on Luis Parache’s double and Jason Matusik knockd both of them in on a single to make it 3-2.
Normal broke the game open in the seventh, scoring five runs. They were helped by three walks in the inning. Parache hit an RBI double in the rally and Matusik had another two-run single.
The Bolts could not mount any offense against the CornBelters’ bullpen over the final three innings.
Provence (6-5) allowed two runs in six innings for the win and Oliver (4-9) took the loss, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings.
The ThunderBolts will continue their six-game roadtrip on Friday night with a 7:00 game two against the Normal CornBelters at The Corn Crib. Travis Tingle (4-6, 4.42) will get the start for Windy City against Normal’s Luis Noel (6-4, 4.44). The broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.