CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts scored three runs in the second inning and that was enough for Donovan Drake, who recorded his first professional win, 4-1 over the Southern Illinois Miners Friday night at Standard Bank Stadium.
After Drake got out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning, the Bolts offense kicked into gear in the second. With one out, Andy Chriscaden picked up his first career hit, a solo homer to put Windy City on top 1-0. Later in the inning, after Brian Fowler had walked Billy Nowlin and Jareck West, Travis Weaver doubled them both in to give the Bolts a 3-0 lead.
Drake did not allow another hit until the sixth inning, when Jake Kaase and Matt Fields each picked up a double to end the shutout.
Drake was taken out after six, having allowed just four hits. He struck out seven.
Andy Mee ran into some trouble in the seventh, when the Miners loaded the bases for the second time. But with one out, Kaase struck out and Chad Maddox grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Jareck West then provided some insurance for the ThunderBolts bullpen, hitting his second home run of the season to make it a 4-1 score. Matt Costello, Tyson Corley and Shane Zegarac finished of the Miners out of the Bolts bullpen.
Drake (1-0) earned his first win while Brian Fowler (3-1), who allowed three run over six innings, took his first loss of the season. Zegarac pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
The rubber game of the series will be played at Standard Bank Stadium on Saturday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:05. Mike Recchia (3-1) is expected to get the start for the ThunderBolts and Southern Illinois will pitch David Harden (3-1). There will be a fireworks show following the game. Anyone who cannot be in attendance can listen to the audio broadcast on sportsjuice.com.