CRESTWOOD, IL - An unearned run that scored on a Blair Beck ground ball to the right side in the eighth inning was the difference in a tightly contested affair, as the ThunderBolts squeaked out a 6-5 win over the Joliet Slammers Wednesday afternoon.
Clay Chapman took the mound and struggled through the first three innings. In the first, he allowed the initial five Slammers (31-35) to reach and two runs to score before recording an out. However, with the bases loaded, Chapman was able to pitch out of the jam to keep the deficit at 2-0.
The Bolts (37-30) offense got going in the third inning after Joliet scored a run in both the second and third. Keenyn Walker tripled and Coco Johnson doubled him home for Windy City’s first run. Riley Krane then quickly singled home Johnson to make the deficit 4-2 and Larry Balkwill capped the scoring in the third with an RBI double to make it 4-3.
In the fourth, Tim Zier led off with a single and Ransom LaLonde followed with a base hit. With two on and two out, Blair Beck ripped a double that split the right-centerfield gap and scored both LaLonde and Zier to give the ThunderBolts a 5-4 lead.
Patrick Ledet relieved Chapman in the sixth and allowed an RBI single to Ridge Hoopii-Haslam that tied the game at five.
With the game still tied in the bottom of the eighth inning, Zier led off the frame with a base hit and eventually made it to third base. With two outs, Beck hit a ground ball to first baseman Rock Shoulders, who fielded it cleanly, but Andrew Zellner (0-2) could not receive the throw cleanly as he tried covering the bag. Zier ultimately scored the winning run on the misplay.
Brian Loconsole converted his league-leading 23rd save of the season despite putting runners on second and third with one out. Josh Glick (4-0) got the win after throwing 1.1 innings of shutout ball, while Zellner (0-2) was today’s loser.
The win sets up a rubber game Thursday night with Zac Westcott (5-4, 5.67) slated to pitch for the Bolts and Tyler House (2-3, 6.32) for Joliet. It will be a White Castle Wrestling Thursday featuring former WWE superstar Al Snow and a one hour postgame wrestling show from Pro Wrestling Blitz. Game three of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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