SAUGET, IL – The Gateway Grizzlies scored three runs in the sixth inning to break open a one-run game and give the ThunderBolts their sixth straight loss, 4-1 at GCS Ballpark Saturday night.
The Grizzlies scored their first run in the third inning. Tommy Richards singled and stole second before Landon Hernandez singled with two outs to score Richards.
Jake Fisher otherwise cruised through the first five innings, striking out nine and allowing five hits. In the sixth, he struck out the leadoff batter before five consecutive men reached on hits. Ben Waldrip started with a single followed by a Josh Adams RBI triple. Richard Siegel’s base hit scored Adams and, three batters later, Siegel scored on a Tommy Richards sacrifice fly.
The ThunderBolts got on the board in the top of the seventh. Kyle Robinson hit a solo home run to right field to make the score 4-1.
The Bolts’ best scoring chance over the final two innings came in the eighth. Michael Allen reached on an error before Garrett Carey singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Brett Zawacki pitched out of the jam with a pop out and a double play.
Richard Barrett came out of the Grizzlies bullpen in the ninth and pitched around a walk to earn his 16th save.
Ja’Vaun West (7-1) was the winning pitcher, going six innings and allowing only two hits and no runs. Fisher (4-8) took the loss, allowing five runs in 5.1 innings despite striking out ten.
The ThunderBolts continue their six-game road trip on Saunday with game two of a three-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies. Travis Tingle (6-5, 5.04) will get the start for the Bolts against Gateway’s Aaron Newcomb (9-4, 5.72). First pitch from GCS Ballpark is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.