05/26/2018 6:22 PM
NORMAL, IL – Ransom LaLonde hit two of the ThunderBolts’ three home runs as the Bolts took game one of a doubleheader 8-4 over the Normal CornBelters at The Corn Crib Saturday evening. They dropped game two 6-4.
Nick Cain’s solo homer in the bottom of the first gave the CornBelters a quick lead, but LaLonde answered quickly with a two-run shot in the second that gave the Bolts their first lead.
They piled on in the second as Tim Zier hit a leadoff homer to make it 3-1. After back-to-back singles, Larry Balkwill hit a sacrifice fly to add another run. Brandon Rawe scored two more with two outs in the inning on a long fly ball to right field that was dropped for a three-base error. LaLonde finished the six-run inning with his second home run.
Normal tacked on three late runs but it wasn’t enough as Jake Welch (2-0) picked up his second win in as many starts with five three-run innings. Billy Roth allowed five runs in 2.1 innings for the loss.
Game two started strong for the ThunderBolts (7-6), as they loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning. Zier doubled home the first two runs of the game.
Normal (5-9) responded with two in the bottom of the inning. They had runners at second and third with one out when Justin Fletcher flew out to center. One run scored on the sacrifice fly and the second scored on a throwing error.
The Bolts reclaimed the lead on a Will Krug RBI single in the fourth inning but the CornBelters tied the score in the fifth on a Derek Bauer RBI hit.
The decisive inning was the bottom of the sixth. Tanner Lubach’s solo home run put Normal in front and a two-out two-run single for Tyler Beckwith made it 6-3.
The ThunderBolts threatened in the seventh, scoring one run on a Larry Balkwill sacrifice fly and putting runners at second and third with two outs but Trevor Simms got Brandon Rawe to ground out, ending the threat for his first save.
Anthony Herrera (1-1) pitched a perfect sixth inning for the win while Jack Andersen (1-2) allowed two runs for the loss.
The series concludes Sunday evening at 6:05. Zac Westcott (0-2, 0.82) opposes Jacinto Garcia (1-0, 1.50) in the rubber game. The broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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