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Big sixth inning propels Bolts to victory

CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts fell behind 4-0 in the first inning but fought back with seven runs in the sixth inning to beat the Southern Illinois Miners 9-5 at Standard Bank Stadium Saturday.

The Miners (34-34) used the long ball to jump ahead as Nolan Earley and Kurt Wertz each hit a two-run homer in the first.

Larry Balkwill and Joe Becht both doubled in the second inning to give the ThunderBolts (30-42) their first run of the evening. Becht’s solo home run in the fourth made it a two-run game.

In the sixth, the Bolts sent ten men to the plate and knocked out seven hits as Derek Bangert started it with a single. Becht followed with a base hit and both men scored on an Omar Obregon double, extending Obregon’s hit streak to 22 games and tying the score. Axel Johnson gave them the lead with an RBI single. After Tyler Straub singled, Blair Beck hit a two-run double and Balkwill followed with his tenth home run of the year, making it 9-4.

Zac Westcott settled in after his shaky first inning and did not allow a run over his next six. I the seventh, he struck out the side on nine pitches and he finished with ten strikeouts for the game. Wertz’s second homer of the night in the eighth inning was the last of the Southern Illinois offense.

Westcott (6-7) went 8.2 innings for the win and Drew Peden got the last out for his third save. Patrick Duester (2-2) took the loss, allowing three runs in relief.

The ThunderBolts go for the season sweep of the Miners on Sunday at 2:05. It is Family Day presented by JULIE featuring a petting zoo, courtesy of Animal Quest – Chicago. Connor Bach (3-1, 4.74) gets the start for the Bolts. Fans not in attendance can hear the broadcast on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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