CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts hit a season-high five home runs and defeated the Evansville Otters 10-1 to take the series Sunday night at Standard Bank Stadium.
C.J. Gillman got the scoring started for Windy City in the bottom of the first. With two men on, he doubled off the leftfield wall to give the Bolts a 2-0 lead.
Zach Aakhus added to the lead in the second on a solo homer, his fourth of the year.
Evansville scored their only run in the top of the third. Runey Davis tripled and Taylor Black singled him in to cut the Windy City lead to 3-1. The Otters had eight hits in five innings against Tyson Corley and nine overall, but left eight men on base and didn’t score again.
The ThunderBolts’ offense had gone quiet in the middle innings until the bottom of the sixth. With Aakhus at first, Ryan Cuneo went deep, his first home run as a ThunderBolt, to make it 5-1.
The following inning, Brandon Decker, who had earlier extended his hitting streak to 15 games, hit his 16th home run to make it 7-1. Decker’s homer was followed by a Bob Glover double and, later, a Jareck West two-run shot, his sixth of the year.
The Bolts put a cap on their power outburst when Chad Cregar hit his 25th of the year, a solo shot to right in the eighth.
Windy City’s bullpen pitched a scoreless four innings to preserve the 10-1 win.
Corley (4-6) went five innings in the win, his third straight and Matt Zielinski (6-6) allowed five runs in 5.2 innings for the loss. The win moved the Bolts to 1.5 games ahead of Gateway, their largest lead in the division this year.
After taking Monday off, the ThunderBolts begin a big three-game series with the Schaumburg Boomers on Tuesday. Game one’s pitching matchup will feature Stephen Sauer (6-6, 3.63) for Windy City and Matt Kuna (2-4, 3.83) for Schaumburg. The game begins at 6:35 in Schaumburg and can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.