Frontier League

Bolts lose opener in River City

Rascals 5 Bolts 2

O’FALLON, MO – The Windy City ThunderBolts and River City Rascals saw a flurry of activity in the early innings before both teams went scoreless over the final seven innings of a 5-2 Rascals win over the Bolts at CarShield Field Friday night.

It didn’t take long for the ThunderBolts (36-45) to take the lead. Coco Johnson hit the first pitch of the night over the right-center field wall to give the ThunderBolts 1-0 lead. It was the third time in the last four games that the Bolts were able to take a first-inning lead.

River City (41-42) didn’t make it last, though, as they scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Johnny Morales and Josh Ludy hit back-to-back doubles to produce the first run. Later in the inning, Josh Silver singled and scored on a Jason Merjano two-out base hit to make the score2-1.

Windy City responded as Johnny Eierman singled and moved to second on a Charley Thurber walk in the second inning. Blair Beck singled to score Eierman and tie it up 2-2.

The final runs of the game were scored in the bottom of the second. The Rascals sent nine men to the plate, getting four hits and three walk in the inning. The first run came home on a Morales double play grounder but they mounted a two-out rally. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Merjano, who doubled home two more runs to put the Rascals ahead 5-2.

Jake Stolley came out of the bullpen and slowed the River City attack. He pitched 3.2 shutout innings. In all, three ThunderBolt relievers combined on 6.1 scoreless frames, extending their bullpen’s shutout streak to 17 innings during the current road trip.

Austin Warner (3-1) struck out a career-high 11 over a career-high 7.2 innings for River City and earned the win while Brady Muller (3-9) lasted only 1.2 innings for the loss. Zac Treece struck out the side in the ninth for his 19th save.

The ThunderBolts continue their road trip and their three-game series on Saturday at River City. Clay Chapman (7-6, 3.24) gets the start for the Bolts in game two at CarShield Field against River City’s Zeb Sneed (6-7, 3.94). First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 and the radio broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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