JOLIET, IL – Mike Recchia came within two outs of his fourth straight complete game, allowing just one run in 8.1 innings as the ThunderBolts defeated the Joliet Slammers 5-1 at Silver Cross Field Thursday night.
Both Recchia and Joliet starter Steven Maxwell were tough early with both sides struggling to get base runners in a scoreless tie through five innings.
The Bolts finally broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning. Chris Wade, Chad Cregar and C.J. Gillman hit consecutive one-out singles and Brandon Decker brought home Wade on a sacrifice fly. Bob Glover then doubled in Cregar and Gillman to put Windy City up 3-0.
The Bolts added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Chad Cregar led off the frame with his 16th home run of the year, followed immediately by a C.J. Gillman double. Two batters later, Gillman scored on Glover’s second RBI hit of the game to make it 5-0.
Recchia struck out ten men and allowed only three hits through eight innings, but after he fanned the leadoff hitter in the ninth, Abel Nieves homered to end the shutout. Shane Zegarac came on to get the final two outs and preserve a 5-1 victory.
The win was the fourth straight for the ThunderBolts and along with a Schaumburg loss Thursday night, the Bolts jumped into first place for the first time since they were 5-1.
Recchia (8-2) tied teammate Dustin Williams atop the league with his eighth win while Maxwell (5-6) allowed three runs in 5.2 innings for the loss.
The Bolts and Slammers will continue their three-game series Friday night. The second contest at Silver Cross Field will feature Windy City starter Williams (8-2, 4.54) and Joliet hurler Jacob Sanchez (2-0, 2.13). The ballgame begins at 7:05 and can be heard on sportsjuice.com.