Aviators 2 Bolts 1
CRESTWOOD, IL – Kyle Dhanani hit a two-out two-run single for the Rockford Aviators in the eighth inning Friday night, wresting the lead from the ThunderBolts, who lost a late lead for the second straight day in a 2-1 loss at Standard Bank Stadium.
Daniel Cropper of Windy City and Josh Slaats of Rockford were locked up in a pitchers’ duel in the early innings with neither side producing a run in the first three frames.
The ThunderBolts finally broke through in the fourth. Kyle Robinson extended his hit streak to 20 games with a one-out double but was still at second base with one out when Davidson Peguero came up. Peguero, in his ThunderBolts debut, doubled to right field, scoring Robinson. The potential for a bigger rally was cut down, however, when Evan Button was thrown out rounding third base on the same play.
Slaats did not allow another Windy City runner past first base in his final three innings of work, and Rockford’s offense began to click in the sixth. Jeff Kremer and Edgar Corcino hit back-to-back singles to begin the inning, but with one out, Jessie Snodgrass came out of the bullpen and struck out consecutive hitters to end the threat.
In the eighth, with the score still 1-0, Victor Larez came on to pitch and loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a Corcino single. Dhanani came up and swung at the first pitch, blooping a single to center and driving in two runs.
The Bolts had three baserunners the last two innings but did not score. In the ninth, Robinson reached second base on a single and a bunt, but was thrown out straying too far from second to end their last scoring threat.
Slaats (2-0) earned the win for Rockford and Larez (1-1) took the loss. Gerardo Sanchez worked his eighth save.
The ThunderBolts and Aviators will continue their series Saturday night. Jake Fisher (2-5, 5.65) will start for the Bolts against Rockford’s Cole Green (1-3, 4.81). Standard Bank Stadium will host a fireworks show after the game, sponsored by Tampico Beverages. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.