Miners 3 Bolts 2
MARION, IL – Cletis Avery picked up a game-tying single in the eighth inning and a game-winning base hit in the bottom of the 11th as the Southern Illinois Miners came from behind to knock off the ThunderBolts 3-2 at Rent One Park Friday night.
Brynn Martinez hit his first career home run for the ThunderBolts (3-5), a two-run shot in the third inning that gave the Bolts a 2-0 lead.
Thanks to Tyler Thornton’s pitching effort, that lead held for the next five innings. Thornton allowed only four hits over six shutout innings and struck out eight batters. He departed with a two-run lead.
Steven Ridings was nearly as good, though, for the Miners (3-4). Aside from the homer, he gave up just three other hits over his eight innings pitched and kept his team in the game.
Blake Hickman came in to pitch the eighth for the Bolts and walked two batters before Anthony Brocato singled in a run to cut the lead to 2-1. Dylan Prohoroff entered, looking for his second save, but Avery bounced a single up the middle, his first professional hit, to score the tying run and push the game into extra innings.
The ThunderBolts did not have anyone reach base over their two chances in extras but the Miners took advantage of the international tiebreaker rule in the 11th that started the inning with a runner at second. Justin Miller walked back-to-back hitters to load the bases and Avery hit another bouncer up the middle to score the winning run.
Gabe Gentner (2-0) picked up the win in relief and Miller (0-1) took the loss. Thornton improved his scoreless streak to 13 innings to start the year, but the team fell to 0-2 in his starts.
The ThunderBolts and Miners continue their three game series on Saturday night. Game two will feature former Miner Chris Washington (0-1, 0.00) making his first Windy City start against Southern Illinois’s Austin Dubsky (0-1, 5.79). First pitch from Rent One Park is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.