ThunderBolts slug their way to comeback victory

Bolts 11 Miners 9

MARION, IL – The Windy City ThunderBolts came from behind three times against the Southern Illinois Miners Sunday night and scored three runs in the ninth inning to take the finale at Rent One Park 11-9.

Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, the ThunderBolts took their first lead of the season with a three-run two-out rally. Mike Torres singled and Zach Aakhus walked before Chad Cregar’s RBI single tied the score. Doug Joyce followed with a two-run double to put the Bolts on top 3-1.

The Miners were quick to respond. They scored four runs in the bottom of the third on four hits. Gerardo Avila tripled home the first run and Carlos Mendez tripled in another. Ken Gregory had the other RBI hit in the inning.

The Miners added another run in the fifth to make it 6-3, but again the ThunderBolts came back. They tied it with a three-run sixth. Nathan Tomaszewski hit a two-run triple and scored on Mike Torres’s single.

In the seventh, Southern Illinois captured the lead for the third time. With Tyler Stubblefield on third and one out, they scored their first run on a Jason Ganek single. They added two more when Mario Mercedes hit a bases-loaded single with two outs, making the score 9-6.

The ThunderBolts inched closer with a two-run eighth. Tomaszewski singled and scored on a Torres triple. Joyce’s two-out base hit scored Torres.

Trailing 9-8 in the ninth inning, the ThunderBolts ran into some good fortune as Miners reliever Drew Bailey struggled to throw strikes. He walked the bases loaded and, with one out, walked Torres to score Jeff Harkensee and tie the game. Zach Aakhus followed by singling on the first pitch, scoring two runs and giving the ThunderBolts the 11-9 victory.

Michael Click (1-0) pitched 1.1 innings of relief to earn the win and Bailey (0-1) took the loss for Southern Illinois. Andy Mee pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out two for his first save.

The ThunderBolts will take Monday off before continuing their season-long ten-game roadtrip in Normal on Tuesday. The opener of a three-game series will pit Windy City’s Travis Tingle against the CornBelters’ Drew Provence. First pitch from The Corn Crib is scheduled for 7:00 and the game broadcast can be heard from wcthunderbolts.com.

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