The Windy City ThunderBolts and Southern Illinois Miners took the field for nearly four hours as a Bolts comeback bid in the ninth came up short, seeing the Miners come away with a 6-5 triumph.
Southern Illinois got on the board in the second inning as Andrew Sweet singled past a drawn-in infield, scoring Jereme Milons for a 1-0 Miners edge.
The Bolts came back in the bottom of the third inning as after a leadoff single from Vinnie Scarduzio, Guillermo Martinez tripled down the leftfield line, tying the game at 1-1. Two batters later, J. T. Restko hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 Windy City lead. In the fourth, Scarduzio singled home Robert Perry who doubled to lead off the frame, pushing the Bolts lead to 3-1.
The Miners wouldn’t go quietly, however, as Southern Illinois scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings, knotting the game at 3-3. In the eighth, the Miners put two on with one out as Andrew Sweet came up and doubled into right field, scoring both Randy Molina and Tom Stack-Babich scored for a 5-3 Southern Illinois lead. A run in the ninth for the Miners seemed to cement the final score.
Except no one told Windy City who, as they have all season, battled to the last out. The Bolts scored a pair in the ninth inning and had the bases loaded with two outs, but were unable to knot the game one more time as Chris Wiman struck out pinch-hitter Damian Walcott to end the game
Mike Damchuk (1-2) got the win in relief throwing 1.2 innings allowing just one hit and no runs. Matt Jernstad (2-2) took the loss for Windy City. Despite giving up the two runs in the ninth, Wiman picked up his fourth save of the year.
The ThunderBolts continue their homestand on Wednesday with Dustin Pease (5-1, 4.81) on the mound for the Bolts against Danny Zeffiro (1-1, 5.63) for the Miners. The game is the much anticipated “Return of the Cheetahs” as Windy City will don throwback Cook County Cheetahs uniforms for the contest. Fans can bring a carload of people to the game for just $10 and the first 250 people in Standard Bank Stadium will receive a free Cheetahs hat courtesy of Cloverleaf Farms. 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