CRESTWOOD, IL – Keenyn Walker had four hits and four stolen bases and Jake Fisher threw his fourth complete game of the year as the ThunderBolts took care of the Joliet Slammers by a 7-2 final, salvaging a series split at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.
Joliet (39-47) jumped on Fisher early as Travis Bolin singled and Edwin Gomez doubled him in.
The Bolts (47-40) answered immediately when Walker singled and stole two bases in the bottom of the inning. Larry Balkwill singled him home.
They added single runs in the third and fifth. Andrew Dundon walked and scored on a Walker double to make it 2-1 and Walker singled, stole second and came home on a Coco Johnson single to make it 3-1.
Fisher held the lead there as he did not allow a Joliet runner past first base between the fourth and eighth innings, at one point retiring 12 of 13 hitters.
A four-run eighth inning for the ThunderBolts put the game away. Walker picked up his fourth hit, a double to lead off and Johnson followed with a walk. After both men advanced on steals, Tim Zier singled them in. Zier scored on a Kyle Wood double and Larry Balkwill, who had singled, scored on a wild pitch.
The Slammers scored one with two outs in the ninth but Fisher (9-7) finished it off, striking out the final batter, his eighth of the game. Andrew Zellner (1-3) allowed five runs in seven innings and took the loss
The win kept the ThunderBolts a half game ahead of the River City Rascals for the final Frontier League playoff spot with nine games remaining.
The Washington Wild Things, who sit just 1.5 games back, come to town for a three-game series on Friday. Clay Chapman (4-5, 4.11) gets the game one start against Washington’s Trevor Foss (10-5, 3.16). It is Jimmy Buffett Night at Standard Bank Stadium featuring a postgame fireworks show and concert from Flip Flop Dave. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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