FLORENCE, KY – The ThunderBolts had their first multi-homer game, but lost their second straight game to the Florence Freedom, 6-3 at UC Health Stadium Thursday night.
The Freedom put the ThunderBolts behind early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Ryan Miller started the rally with a single and Sam Eberle followed with a walk. Joe Staley brought home Miller on a base hit of his own and Eberle was brought in on a Matt Scioscia error.
The ThunderBolts cut the lead in half in the third. Evan Button led off with a single and later scored on a Ty Stetson groundout.
The Freedom broke it open in the bottom of the third. Staley singled and Caleb Bryson walked in front of Michael Wilson, who hit his first career home run, a three-run shot to put the Freedom ahead 5-1. They added one more run the next inning when Eli Anderson and James Ferguson combined to walk the bases loaded. Rob Kelly’s RBI single made it 6-1.
The ThunderBolts chipped away with the long ball. Jon Mestas homered in the sixth, his first career home run, to make it 6-2 and Mike Torres’s solo shot in the eighth brought the Bolts to within 6-3.
They would not score again, leaving five men on base in the final three innings. The Bolts outhit the Freedom 10-8, but 11 walks and two hit batsmen from Windy City pitching helped Florence to the win. Peter Gehle (1-1) allowed two runs in six innings for the win and Anderson (0-2) gave up six runs (five earned) in three innings for the loss. Jorge Marban pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
The ThunderBolts return home to start a three-game series with the Schaumburg Boomers Friday night. Travis Tingle (1-1, 3.37) will start game one for the ThunderBolts and Schaumburg will start Cal Bowling (3-2, 3.96). First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on meridix.com.