ROCKFORD, IL - The ThunderBolts took game one of a three game series in Rockford 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Road Ranger Stadium to improve their winning streak to a season best five games.
Windy City fell behind early for the third straight game as Rockford took a 1-0 lead in the first on a Jason James single that scored David Cooper from second.
Bolts’ starter Matt Jernstad quickly settled after that until the fourth when he allowed a lead-off double to Matt Greener who would come in to score on a Carlos Dominguez single two batters later. Jernstad would get into some trouble in the sixth allowing back to back singles, but would work himself out of it with a strikeout, a pick off, and another strikeout. Jernstad’s final line was eight innings, nine hits, two runs (one earned), one walk, and eight strikeouts.
The Bolts struggled early on against Rockford starter Alex Syzmanski who was throwing the ball very well. Windy City got the scoring started in the fifth against Syzmanski when Devin Sheperd came into score on a Billy Nowlin sacrifice fly.
The score would remain 2-1 until the eighth inning when Nowlin stepped to the plate against Syzmanski and launched a solo home run over the left field fence to tie the game at two.
After a one-two-three inning from Jernstad in the eighth the Bolts’ sent Sheperd to the plate to face RiverHawks closer Brett Durand. Sheperd blasted a 1-0 pitch from Durand over the left field wall to give the Bolts a 3-2 lead. Windy City would go down in order after the Sheperd home run.
The 3-2 lead would be enough for close Wes Alsup as he came in to pick up his fifth save of the season. Aslup allowed a two out double to Jeremy Hamilton to tighten things up, but would get Freddy Parejo to fly out to left field to clinch the victory for the Bolts.
Matt Jernstad picked up his first win in over a month improving to 4-6 while Durand got the loss falling to 3-3. The Bolts will play game two against the RiverHawks tomorrow at Road Ranger Stadium at 7:05pm. The Bolts will give the ball to Dustin Williams (8-3) and he will be opposed by Chris Nyman for the RiverHawks (0-1).