ThunderBolts fall despite Santiago’s gem

Miners 3 Bolts 0

CRESTWOOD, IL – T.J. Santiago threw eight shutout innings for the ThunderBolts but Tyler Stubblefield did the same for the Southern Illinois Miners as the Bolts dropped game one to Southern Illinois 3-0 at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.

The Miners (21-28) had an early scoring chance against Santiago as they put runners at second and third in the first inning. Santiago struck out Craig Massoni to end the threat.

The ThunderBolts (26-22) had a baserunner in each of the first three innings but had only one man reach second base, Keenyn Walker, who singled and stole in the third.

After the first inning scare, Santiago retired 13 consecutive batters and did not allow anyone to get past first base the rest of the evening as the score remained 0-0 into the ninth.

Craig Massey began the inning with a single for Southern Illinois off of Windy City all-star Scott Kuzminsky. He advanced on a Ryan Lashley infield hit and scored on Nolan Earley’s base hit to break the tie in the top of the ninth. With two outs in the inning, Kurt Wertz, Jr. doubled to score both Lashley and Earley and make the score 3-0.

The ThunderBolts could not mount a ninth-inning rally as their last nine batters of the game were retired.

Stubblefield (5-1) picked up the win, allowing only three hits in eight innings. Santiago had an identical stat line with three hits and one walk allowed and three strikeouts, but did not factor in the decision. Kuzminsky (2-1) took the loss and John Werner earned the save, his tenth.

The ThunderBolts and Miners continue their three-game series Saturday night. Jake Fisher (3-4, 4.45) gets the game two start for the Bolts against Southern Illinois’s Chris Washington (1-0, 3.20). It is Harry Potter Night at the ballpark featuring a postgame fireworks show. First pitch from Standard Bank Stadium is set for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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