CRESTWOOD, IL - The ThunderBolts came back in thrilling fashion on Saturday night as they got three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come back and beat the Lake Erie Crushers 5-4 at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Bolts’ got things started early as Mike Torres singled with one out in the first. After a Zach Aakhus foul out Devin Shepherd hit a two out line drive home run off of the left field foul pole to give Windy City a 2-0 lead.
Lake Erie was finally able to get to starter Bryant Cotton in the seventh as they got a RBI single from Kellen Kulbacki. Then with two outs Crushers shortstop Jodem Rivera drove a base hit into right field that skipped past Chase Porch and rolled all the way to the wall. Jason Taylor came into score and Rivera chugged all the way around the bases to come home and score on the play which gave the Crushers a 3-2 lead.
Cotton would retire the next batter, but that would end his day as he pitched seven solid innings allowing just two earned runs on one walk and three strikeouts.
Windy City was able to load the bases on Lake Erie reliever Chris Allen in the bottom of the seventh, but failed to get a run in when Mike Torres flied out to centerfield for the final out of the inning.
Lake Erie would score another run in the eighth off of Bolts’ reliever Greg Johnson as Patrick Norris came all the way from first base to score on a Nick Mahin double.
The ThunderBolts went into the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-2. Ryan Basham would start the ninth with a single and then with one out Nick Kuroczko would double to put runners at second and third. Brandon Anderson would drive a run in with an infield single to cut the lead to 4-3. Mike Torres would walk to load the bases and then Zach Aakhus would get hit by a pitch to tie the game at four.
Devin Shepherd walked up to the plate and wasted no time, driving the first pitch from Ruben Flores to the wall in center field to end the game. This was Windy City’s first come from behind win this season.
Greg Johnson pitched two innings in relief to get the win to move to 2-0 and Ruben Flores fell to 2-2 on the season.
The Bolts’ are back in action tomorrow against Lake Erie at Standard Bank Stadium. The Crushers will send Jairo Cuevas (0-1, 7.00) to the hill and he will be opposed by ThunderBolts starter Dustin Williams (4-2, 3.76). It’s family night at the ballpark! Get four tickets, four hotdogs, and four sodas for just $40!