CRESTWOOD, IL – The Florence Freedom waited out a one-hour, 57-minute rain delay to even their series with the ThunderBolts, in a 6-4 game at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
The Freedom went on top in the first inning when Cloe Miles led off the game with a single, stole second, moved to third on a flyout and scored on a groundout. Then, back-to-back two-out hits from Joe Staley and Ben Kline made it 2-0.
Windy City responded with a run in the second. Jon Mestas singled, moved to second on a groundout and crossed the plate on Andrew Brauer’s single. Brauer made it to third with one out but was left there.
The Freedom added to their lead in the third when Ryan Miller doubled and, with two outs, Kline doubled him in, making it 3-1.
The following inning, the Bolts put runners at the corners with two outs when the rain started to fall. The game was delayed for nearly two hours. When it resumed, Peter Gehle remained the pitcher for Florence. He walked Mestas to load the bases, but got Justin Dalles to pop out to end the threat.
The game remained 3-1 into the seventh, when the Freedom gave themselves some breathing room. Bobby Joe Tannehill singled and Ryan Miller walked before Rob Kelly reached on a fielder’s choice. An error allowed Tannehill to score and Kelly to move to second. Staley singled home Miller to make it 5-1. Later in the inning, the bases were loaded when Jason Kafka walked Michael Wilson to bring in another run.
Max White reached on an error to start the bottom of the seventh and Ty Stetson scored him on a triple. Stetson scored on a Mike Torres base hit.
The scoring concluded in the eighth when Ryan Soares singled and later scored on a Brauer sacrifice fly.
Gehle (2-1) went 6.1 innings and gave up two earned runs for the win and Eli Anderson (0-3) gave up two earned runs in three innings for the loss. Jorge Marban threw a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
The rubber match will be played on Thursday night. Travis Tingle (2-1, 2.94) will start for the Bolts against Florence’s Dave Middendorf (2-1, 2.65). Blitz Pro Wrestling will host a postgame show and WWE superstar Rhyno will be in attendance. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05.and the broadcast can be heard on meridix.com.