The ThunderBolts scored five times in the first inning Thursday night and never looked back in a 14-0 victory over the Normal CornBelters in the rubber match of a three game series at Standard Bank Stadium.
Windy City’s first five hitters reached safely including Mike Sullivan who drilled a two-run double to right field to begin the evening’s scoring. J.T. Restko then hit a grounder to first that Steve Alexander booted allowing Sullivan to score. After a Ryne White single, Normal pulled their starter, Jaret Coker. Jason Furrow got out of the first and pitched a scoreless second but fell apart again in the third when the ThunderBolts got four hits, the biggest of which was a Guillermo Martinez two-run double. After he scored on a wild pitch, it was 9-0 Bolts.
After Brent Solich lost a 1-0 game on Friday, he no doubt appreciated the run support, but he didn’t need it. Solich allowed just two hits in six shutout innings and earned the victory, improving to 2-2. Windy City scored twice more in both the fourth and sixth innings and added their final tally in the seventh.
It was a true team effort as everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit for a total of 21. The only player to receive an at-bat and not hit safely was pitcher Nick Hall who earned a pinch hitting appearance in the 14 run game’s eighth inning only to strike out. Ryne White, Mike Torres, Dan Jordan and Guillermo Martinez led the way with three hits each. Jordan also reached on a runner’s interference play. Coker took the loss for Normal, falling to 0-2.
Windy City will try to carry their momentum on the road as they embark on a six-game road trip starting Friday night at Southern Illinois. Matt Jernstad (3-1) will get the call against the Miners’ Dustin Brader (2-0). The game begins at 7:05 and will be broadcast on WXAV 88.3 fm.