MARION, IL – The ThunderBolts got seven strong innings from Daniel Cropper and scored 11 unanswered runs to run away with an 11-3 victory over the Southern Illinois Miners on Wednesday night at Rent One Park. The win snapped the Bolts’ season-long five-game losing streak.
Windy City faced an early deficit as the Miners scored a run in the first without hitting the ball out of the infield. Jay Austin led off with an infield single and stole second. He scored on back-to-back groundouts.
The ThunderBolts waited until the third to answer, but took the lead for the remainder of the game. With one out, Doug Joyce was hit by a pitch and Evan Button singled. An error moved them to second and third. After the Miners recorded the second out, Kyle Robinson was intentionally walked to load the bases before Miguel Ramirez lost his control. He walked Ryan Soares and Jon Mestas, each one scoring a run. Davidson Peguero followed with a two-run single, and another run scored when Austin’s throw to the infield was wild. The three-run play made it 5-1.
The Bolts added a pair of runs in the fifth on a Peguero RBI single, scoring Soares and a Max White sacrifice fly, scoring Mestas.
The sixth inning was another big one as they again loaded the bases with one out. Soares reached base on an error, scoring one run and Mestas singled home a second. The bases remained loaded for Peguero, who reached on runner interference when his line drive hit Mestas. It was Peguero’s fourth hit. White followed with a two-run single to make it 11-1.
Cropper dominated from innings two through seven, allowing just three singles and not letting anyone past second base. The Miners scored two runs off the ThunderBolts bullpen in the ninth to make the final 11-3.
Cropper (3-6) gave up just four hits total and did not walk anybody in the win and Ramirez (3-4) gave up seven runs (six earned) in four innings. The Bolts were helped out by seven Miners errors.
The rubber match from Rent One Park will be played on Thursday night. Jake Fisher (2-6, 4.82) will start for the ThunderBolts against Southern Illinois’s Michael Carden (1-3, 2.90). First pitch against the Miners is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on meridix.com.