CRESTWOOD, IL – Five ThunderBolt pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout and Brandon Pearl came up with a second-inning RBI single to give the ThunderBolts a 1-0 win over the Normal CornBelters at Standard Bank Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Blayne Weller started and pitched a perfect first inning for the ThunderBolts. On the third out, he was struck by am Ernie Banks one-hopper. Weller would be OK, but had to depart after just one inning.
Andrew Chilcoat came out of the ThunderBolts bullpen and threw four shutout innings in the longest outing of his career. He allowed just two hits, both singles.
Jacob Liedka got the first two outs in the bottom of the second inning on just three pitches before Jareck West worked the count full and doubled to right field. Pearl followed with a hit on the first pitch he saw and West came in just ahead of the Tyler Wiesemeyer throw for the game’s only run.
Mark Kuzma, Michael Click and Andy Mee combined to hold the CornBelters off the board over the final four innings. Click was especially impressive, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
Liedka (1-6) pitched a complete game and did not allow a runner past first base after the second inning, but was the tough luck loser, dropping his fifth straight decision and his fourth straight start. Chilcoat (2-0) earned his first win in a ThunderBolt uniform and Mee recorded the final six outs for his third save.
The win for the Bolts was their third straight and puts them a season-best 11 games over .500.
The Bolts will hit the road for three games against the Joliet Slammers starting Thursday night. The first contest at Silver Cross Field will feature Windy City starter Mike Recchia (7-2, 2.59) and Joliet hurler Steven Maxwell (5-5, 3.71). The ballgame begins at 7:05 and can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 fm and wxav.com.