Bums 5 Bolts 3
CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts’ late rally came up short as they fell in game one of a three-game series to the Traverse City Beach Bums 5-3 at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
The Beach Bums (19-23) opened up a five-run lead before the Bolts (14-28) were able to get on the board. Isaac Benard’s RBI single in the second started the scoring and Max Dutto’s two-run homer in the third inning extended the lead.
Traverse City got some help in the fifth inning as they loaded the bases on three walks before getting an RBI single from Luke Lowery and an RBI groundout from Alec Olund.
The ThunderBolts got to Beach Bums starter Matt Murphy for the first time in the sixth inning. Tim Zier singled and Axel Johnson tripled him home.
Blair Beck doubled to start a two-run rally in the seventh. He stole third and scored on a Jonathan McCray fielder’s choice. McCray scored all the way from first base on an Omar Obregon single, moving the Bolts to within two runs. Zier followed with a double that skipped over the wall, forcing Obregon to stop at third base, but with the tying run at second base, Kenneth Knudsen struck out Johnson to end the inning.
A single and an error in the bottom of the ninth put the tying run on base, but John Michael Knighton finished off the inning without allowing a run for his sixth save.
Murphy (1-2) pitched six strong innings to secure his first pro win and Eddie Avila (0-3) allowed five runs in 4.1 innings for the loss.
The ThunderBolts and Beach Bums continue their series on Saturday night. Game two will feature Zac Westcott (2-6, 3.02) on the mound against Traverse City’s Justin Finan (0-1, 6.46). It is Star Wars Night at Standard Bank Stadium with a postgame fireworks show and first pitch is scheduled for 6:05. Fans not in attendance can hear the broadcast through wcthunderbolts.com.