CRESTWOOD, IL – The Windy City ThunderBolts scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take out the Normal CornBelters 4-3 and win their third consecutive series at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.
For the third straight game, Normal (5-7) struck first, this time with a run in the first inning. Yeixon Ruiz singled and Santiago Chirino reached on an error before Meadows singled home Ruiz. Keenyn Walker prevented any further damage, throwing Chirino out at the plate from center field on a potential sacrifice fly.
The ThunderBolts (7-5) answered in the second inning as Kyle Wood walked and scored on a Tim Zier double.
Normal reclaimed the lead with two runs in the fourth. Diego Cedeno reached on an error and scored on a Craig Lepre double. Chirino’s single, one of his four in the game, scored Lepre to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the inning, Wood walked and Zier singled to put two men on base with two outs. Larry Balkwill followed with a flyball to center. Cedeno appeared to be set to make the catch but lost the ball in the lights and allowed it to drop, scoring Wood and Zier. Ransom LaLonde singled the next pitch into left field to score Balkwill and give the Bolts a 4-3 lead.
The CornBelters threatened one more time, putting runners at the corners with one out in the seventh. Cody Mincey came out of the bullpen and struck out consecutive hitters to get out of the jam.
Zac Westcott (2-0) allowed three runs (one earned) in six innings for the win and Corey Kimes (0-2) gave up all four runs in five innings to take the loss. Brian Loconsole pitched the ninth for his league-leading fifth save.
The ThunderBolts begin a three-game series with the Gateway Grizzlies on Friday night. Brady Muller (1-1, 3.18) will take on Gateway’s Dylan Craig (0-1, 12.78). For Memorial Day weekend, all active duty members and Veterans of the military receive a free ticket for them and a guest First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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