Nate Hall hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the tenth inning to score J. T. Restko, lifting the Windy City ThunderBolts to a 4-3 win over the Rockford RiverHawks and a two game sweep in their series.
Rockford plated a run in each of the first and second innings as an RBI single from Robert Sabates scored Caleb Fields in the first and a wild pitch plated Ben Blumenthal who had reached on an error in the second for a 2-0 RiverHawks lead. In the third another Rockford run came home on a Ross McCoy single, scoring Todd Martin who had doubled.
Meanwhile, Kyle Wright, the RiverHawks starter, was excellent through the first five innings allowing Windy City just four baserunners. Things changed in the sixth when the Bolts finally cracked through with a pair of runs on a bases loaded single from Guillermo Martinez, cutting the Rockford advantage to a single run.
As Wright started to fall off, ThunderBolts starter Tyler Kelsey flourished. After giving up the singles runs in each of the first three innings, starting in the fourth, the lefthander retired 13 batters in a row, eventually going eight fantastic innings, allowing three runs (two earned), striking out eight.
With the RiverHawks still leading 3-2 in the eighth, Bryan Cook singled to center and moved to second on a fielding error on Matt Mazurek. Damian Walcott came in to pinch run and Nate Hall came to the plate. Hall drove a 3-1 pitch into the left-centerfield gap, easily scoring Walcott and tying the game at 3-3.
The Windy City bullpen took over from there as Billy Petrick recorded all four of his outs on strikeouts. Rockford was able to put runners on the corners with two outs in the tenth, but Brandon Garner shut the door, getting McCoy to hit a lazy fly ball to right to end the inning. In the bottom of the tenth, with one out J. T. Restko walked, followed by a Zach Aakhus single and a Damian Walcott bunt hit to load the bases. Once again, Nate Hall stepped to the dish and came through, delivering a sacrifice fly to left, giving the Bolts a 4-3 win.
Garner (1-0) picked up the victory for Windy City while John Muller (0-3) took the loss for Rockford.
The ThunderBolts continue their homestand on Tuesday with the start of a three game series against the Southern Illinois Miners. Tuesday is will be Salute to the Military night with a pregame ceremony honoring the soldiers from Bravo 2-122. There will be reduced price tickets for active and retired members of the military as well as fans bringing a prepaid phone card valued at $10 or more. For information or tickets, call 708-489-BALL stop by the Standard Bank Stadium ticket office or go to the team’s website at www.wcthunderbolts.com