Bolts fall to Rascals 4-2 in series opener

CRESTWOOD, IL – Daniel Cropper threw a season-high 7.2 innings, but it wasn’t enough to take down the River City Rascals, who defeated the ThunderBolts 4-2 at Standard Bank Stadium Tuesday night.

The Rascals went ahead 2-0 in the third inning with three straight two-out hits. Zach Kometani started the rally with a single followed by a Hector Crespo double. Eric Williams singled both of them in to break the scoreless tie.

The ThunderBolts got River City back with a run in the fourth and one in the fifth. The fourth inning began with a Michael Torres single and error, putting him at second base. Ryan Soares singled on the next pitch, scoring Torres and cutting the lead in half.

The next inning, Matt Scioscia reached second on a two-base error. He scored on Torres’s two-out single, tying the score.

The tie did not last long. Daniel Cropper had allowed a leadoff triple in the fifth, but pitched around it without allowing a run. He nearly did the same in the sixth, when Bryan Aanderud tripled and still stood at third with two outs. This time, Josh Ludy came up with the big two-out hit, scoring Aanderud for the 3-2 lead.

The Rascals added insurance with a run in the ninth on a Kometani RBI single.

The Bolts did not threaten late in the game, failing to get a man past first base in the last four innings. They had just one hit against the Rascals bullpen.

Tommy Mendoza (1-0) allowed just two unearned runs in five innings to get the win in his first start this year. Cropper (1-3) allowed three runs on nine hits and took the loss. Gabe Shaw pitched a perfect ninth inning for his sixth save.

Torres appeared in his 394th ThunderBolt game, breaking his tie with Zach Aakhus for the most in team history.

Game two between the ThunderBolts and Rascals is Wednesday evening at 6:05. Jake Fisher (1-2, 5.12) will pitch for the Bolts and be opposed by Cory Caruso (0-2, 5.79). Wednesday night is Palos Baseball Organization Night at Standard Bank Stadium featuring a postgame fireworks show. It is also 50 cent hot dog night. Fans not in attendance can hear the broadcast on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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