05/19/2018 7:42 PM
JOLIET, IL – The ThunderBolts scored three runs in the eighth inning to break a scoreless tie and defeat the Joliet Slammers 3-0 at Joliet Route 66 Stadium Saturday night.
Jake Welch and Liam O’Sullivan went head to head in a great pitchers duel as O’Sullivan retired the first 14 ThunderBolts he faced.
Welch struggled out of the gate, allowing hits to three of the first five batters he faced, but got out of the second inning with a double play and went on a roll, retiring the next 14 men he faced.
The Slammers (2-6) mounted a threat in the seventh inning, loading the bases on a single, a hit by pitch and a walk. With two outs, Welch remained in the game to face Ridge Hoopii-Haslam and struck out to keep his shutout intact.
The ThunderBolts (5-2) mounted their rally in the following inning as Tyler Straub hit a leadoff double. Darius Day tried to sacrifice himself but wound up at first base with a bunt single. Ransom LaLonde’s sacrifice fly got the Bolts on the board and Day scored on a Blair Beck double, chasing O’Sullivan from the game. Ishmael Edwards welcomed reliever Corey Kimber to the game with an RBI single that made the score 3-0.
Doug Hayes and Devin Raftery pitched the final two innings for the Bolts to wrap up their third shutout win in their last five games.
Welch (1-0) picked up his first ThunderBolts win, going seven innings and allowing five hits and a walk with six strikeouts. O’Sullivan (0-2) was the tough-luck loser. He was charged with three runs in 7.1 innings on only four hits.
The rubber game of the series is set for Sunday afternoon with Will Landsheft (1-0, 0.00) on the mound for the ThunderBolts. Joliet counters with Duke von Schamann (0-1, 2.00). First pitch from Joliet Route 66 Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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