JOLIET, IL – The ThunderBolts scored five runs in the eighth inning and for the second straight night, came from behind late to defeat the Joliet Slammers. The final score was 10-8 Wednesday night at Silver Cross Field.
There was a flurry of scoring early with the Bolts taking an early lead when Brandon Anderson singled on the first pitch of the game and eventually came around to score on a Mike Torres groundout.
Joliet responded with a two-run bottom of the first. After a leadoff walk, Brad Netzel’s triple scored the first run. With two outs, Kyle Maunus singled home Netzel to give Joliet a one-run lead.
That did not last long as the ThunderBolts put runners at first and second with no outs in the second. After Chad Cregar bunted them to second and third, Tommy Mendoza got Lee Rubin to ground out, bringing up Tyler Keeble, who came through with a two-out two-run single giving the Bolts the 3-2 lead.
Joliet jumped back in front in the bottom of the third. With one out, Netzel walked and Hector Pellot doubled him in. Erik Lis then blasted a two-run homer to right field to put the Slammers ahead 5-3.
Joliet added a run in the fifth. Pellot led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a throwing error. He scored on a Lis base hit, chasing starter Dustin Williams from the game.
The Bolts scored once in the seventh when Tyler Keeble doubled and scored on an error, but Joliet answered with two in the bottom of the inning to go ahead 8-4 thanks to an RBI hit from Tobi Adeyemi and a run-scoring wild pitch.
For the second straight night, though, the ThunderBolt bats came alive in the eighth. Torres singled and Devin Shepherd homered to cut the lead to two. Jason James then singled and Nick Kuroczko walked before Cregar dropped down a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away by Sean Estand, allowing James to come in to score. Lee Rubin followed that with a two-run double to give Windy City a 9-8 lead.
Windy City added one for good measure with a Jason James solo homer in the ninth.
Kurt Frymier earned the win for the Bolts (2-0) and the loss went to Chuck Lukanen, who did not retire any of the five batters he faced (4-2). Brett Durand pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Despite the win, the ThunderBolts were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs earlier in the day because of a Lake Erie victory over Washington.
The Bolts and Slammers conclude their series Thursday night at Silver Cross Field. Joliet will send Kevin Crimmel (7-4) to the mound. The Thunderbolts will counter with Matt Jernstad (7-10). Thursday’s game begins at 7:05 and can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.