MARION, IL – The ThunderBolts lost their starter in the first inning Sunday night and the Southern Illinois Miners jumped out to an early 3-0 lead before taking a 7-2 decision in game two of the series at Rent One Park.
Southern Illinois leadoff man Eric Suttle began the game with a single and Sean Coughlin later singled him home to give the Miners a 1-0 first-inning advantage. Then, after walking Nate Hall, Matt Costello came up limping and had to depart after just two-thirds of an inning. Kurt Frymier came in and loaded the bases, but did not allow any further runs.
In the second, though, the Miners struck again. With Boomer Blanchard on third and Suttle at second, Josh Womack singled to score them both, making it 3-0.
The ThunderBolts’ first real scoring chance came in the fourth. Mike Torres led off with a single that bounded past center fielder Jereme Milons for an error. As the ball rolled to the wall, it appeared that Torres would be able to come all the way around to score. But as he crossed the plate, he did not touch down on the base and was tagged out by Coughlin.
Windy City finally broke through in the fifth. They put their first two men on base, but it wasn’t until there were two outs that Brandon Anderson was able to deliver a two-run single, scoring Ryan Basham and Chris Wade and cutting the Southern Illinois lead to 3-2.
The joy was short-lived as Will Block’s solo homer in the bottom of the fifth jumped the Miners back up by two. Later in that inning, with two on and two out, Suttle doubled down the line. Arguing the fair-foul call, Bolts manager Mike Kashirsky was ejected for the second time in the last 16 days. The double made the score 6-2 and effectively ended Windy City’s chances.
The Miners added a run in the seventh to make the final 7-2.
Brendon Malkowski allowed two runs over five innings for the win (5-2) and Costello took the loss (2-3).
Game three of the series at Rent One Park takes place at 7:05 on Monday night. The Bolts will try to evade the sweep with Todd Privett (5-2) throwing against Southern Illinois’ Thomas Campbell (1-1). The game can be heard on WXAV 88.3 fm and wxav.com.