Bullpen catcher Dirt Wagner celebrated his 200th game with the team
CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts weathered a six-run Rockford seventh and held on to a big lead at Standard Banks Stadium Tuesday night. The Bolts defeated the RiverHawks 10-8.
Windy City got on the board first when Mike Torres led off the first inning with a single. Brandon Anderson bunted him to second and Torres scored on a catcher’s throwing error as he stole third base.
Rockford quickly answered, scoring twice in the second. Jeremy Hamilton and Cameron Satterwhite each singled and each eventually scored on a Todd Privett wild pitch.
In the bottom of the second, though, the Bolts reclaimed the lead and would not give it up. Ryan Basham led off with a single and was eventually brought home on a Chad Cregar single. Cregar scored on Nick Kuroczko’s base hit. Chase Porch was hit by a pitch and scored on Torres’ single. Both Torres and Anderson, who also singled, came home on Drew Rucinski wild pitches.
The Bolts knocked Rucinski out of the game in the third, starting the inning with three straight singles. Overall, Windy City had 17 hits in the game, 16 of which went for one base. The only run they could score in the inning was on a Kuroczko sacrifice fly.
The Bolts added to their lead in the fourth, scoring three times on four hits. Brandon ANderson led off with a double and, after a Zach Aakhus single, scored on a Devin Shepherd hit. Aakhus was driven in on Chris Wade's single and Shepherd crossed the plate on Porch's groundout.
They seemed to have the game in hand, but in the seventh, Rockford fought back. Privett pitched six solid innings, allowing two runs, but after he departed, the bullpen struggled. Philip Roy, Kurt Frymier and Greg Johnson combined to allow six runs in the inning on only three hits. There were five walks and one hit batter in the inning, and when the scene had settled, it was only a two-run game, 10-8.
Johnson, though, pitched a perfect eighth and Bradley blanks struck out all three batters in the ninth, earning his second save in as many nights against Rockford.
Privett got the win (3-1) and Rucinski, in his first pro start, got the loss (0-1). The save was Blanks’ fifth.
The conclusion of the Windy City and Rockford series is Wednesday night at Standard Bank Stadium. Hot dogs and soda will be sold for just $1.00 at the game all night. The pitching matchup will feature Windy City’s Bryant Cotton (1-1) against Rockford’s Matt Zoltak (1-0). The game will begin at 7:05 and can be heard on SportsJuice.com.