JOLIET, IL – Justin Garcia hit a solo home run for the Joliet Slammers with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the ThunderBolts 3-2 at Joliet Route 66 Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Will Landsheft got the start for the ThunderBolts (5-3) and continued a strong trend as he pitched five shutout innings, the eighth straight game that a Windy City starter has allowed two runs or fewer.
The offense gave him some early support with a run in the second inning. With Tyler Straub at third and Darius Day at second and two outs, Ronnie Healy picked up his first professional hit, a single that scored Straub. Day was cut down at the plate by right fielder RJ Thompson’s throw, holding the Bolts to one run.
They doubled their lead in the fifth as Blair Beck stood at second base with two outs when Riley Krane singled him home.
The Bolts were unable to extend their lead as they stranded a runner at third base in four of the first six innings.
Joliet (3-6) got their offense rolling against the ThunderBolts’ bullpen in the sixth. With Andrew Cohen making his season debut on the mound, Chaz meadows singled and Trenton Hill walked. Both men stole a base, setting up Thompson’s two-out two-run single that tied the score.
The game remained 2-2 into the ninth when Garcia ended it with his second homer of the year.
Keegan Long (1-0) threw two perfect innings out of the Slammers’ bullpen for the win while Jack Anderson (1-1) gave up the ninth-inning run to take his first loss.
The ThunderBolts return home on Tuesday to start a three-game series with the Evansville Otters. Zac Westcott (0-1, 0.60) will look for his first win on the mound for the Bolts. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is slated for 7:05 and all tickets will be just two dollars for $2 Ticket Tuesday. Fans not in attendance can hear the broadcast through wcthunderbolts.com.