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Bolts drop 2-0 pitchers' duel with Evansville

CRESTWOOD, IL – Josh Spence allowed just one run over a career-high seven innings, but he was outdueled by Trevor Walch, who shutout the ThunderBolts for seven frames, leading the Evansville Otters to a 2-0 victory at Standard Bank Stadium Monday night.

The ThunderBolts had a runner in scoring position with no outs in both the second and fourth innings, but couldn’t break through against Walch in their early chances. Walch would not allow many chances later in the game as he retired ten out of 11 hitters between the fourth and seventh innings.

Spence did not allow an Otter past first base in his first four innings. Evansville had three hits and a walk but a pickoff and two double plays helped keep Spence’s shutout.

The Otters broke the tie in the fifth; Jeremy Nowak came up with two outs and nobody on and hit a home run to left field, his third of the year, making it 1-0.

They had a chance to add to the lead the following inning, loading the bases with one out on three straight singles, but Spence struck out Chris Sweeney and Chris Elder to get out of the inning.

Mike McGuckin led off the eighth for Windy City by reaching second base on a two-base error, but the Bolts could not advance him any further and were unable to tie the score.

Nowak came through with a second RBI in the top of the ninth, doubling home Sweeney, who had walked, to make the final score 2-0.

Walch (3-0) extended his scoreless streak to 19 innings in the win while Spence (0-4) took the loss despite striking out a career-high nine. Orlando Santos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save.

The Bolts and Otters will square off in game two on Tuesday morning in the second Big Splash Day of the season. Tad Barton (0-1, 5.79) will make his second start for Windy City against Evansville’s Taylor Dennis (0-1, 6.33). First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 and fans not in attendance can hear the radio broadcast on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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