CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts scored six runs on six hits in the second inning and defeated the Traverse City Beach Bums 8-5 in front of 2,096 fans at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
Traverse City (27-46) jumped out to the early lead, getting a single in the first inning from Orlando Rivera before Steven Patterson hit a two-run home run.
The Bolts (40-34) responded with their big second inning. Larry Balkwill and Kyle Wood started it with singles before Tim Zier’s base hit scored Balkwill. Corey Bass walked to load the bases and Ransom LaLonde gave the Bolts their first lead with a two-run single. Keenyn Walker picked up the first of two RBI hits for him in the game, scoring Bass and Riley Krane brought home the final two runs of the inning, extending his hitting streak to ten games in the process.
Rivera hit a triple for the Beach Bums in the third and scored on a Patterson groundout to make the score 8-3, but the Bums would not get another hit until the seventh inning.
Bass was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fourth. Ransom LaLonde followed by reaching on an error and they scored on RBI singles from Walker and Balkwill, respectively.
Traverse City made a game of it with three straight hits in the seventh, including RBI doubles for Rivera and Patterson. They made it interesting in the ninth, putting two on with one out but Brian Loconsole pitched out of it, striking out Patterson to end the game.
Will Landsheft (5-8) allowed five runs in 6.2 innings to earn the win in his ThunderBolts debut. Dominic Reed (0-1) lasted only two innings in his first pro start.
Loconsole tied the ThunderBolts’ single season record with his 26th save.
Game two of the series is Saturday night. It is Elvis Night, featuring a pregame concert starting at 4:30 by John Elvis Lyons. The game will be followed by a fireworks show. Jake Fisher (6-7, 3.42) starts for the Bolts against Traverse City’s Reinaldo Lopez (3-8, 4.15). First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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