05/30/2021 5:50 PM
CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts built a big early lead, then withstood a late rally from the Joliet Slammers on their way to a 9-8 victory at Ozinga Field Sunday afternoon. The win gave the Bolts three in the four-game season-opening series with the Slammers.
Jake Fisher got the start for Windy City (3-1), his first in a ThunderBolts uniform since September of 2017, and struck out the side in the first inning.
The Bolts followed that by taking an immediate lead on a Rob Calabrese RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
A Braxton Davidson home run put Joliet (1-3) on the board and tied the score but the ThunderBolts answered with seven straight runs. Dan Robinson and Jamey Smart picked up RBI hits in a four-run second inning and Peyton Isaacson opened the game up with a two-run homer in the fifth. Jairus Richards’s RBI single the next inning made it 8-1.
Fisher cruised through the first six innings but with two outs in the seventh, the Slammers bats got hot. Lane Baremore hit a two-run single and Brylie Ware followed with a three-run homer that brought them within two runs.
Brynn Martinez tripled in the bottom of the inning and scored on a Zac Taylor single to provide a big insurance run for the ThunderBolts and they needed it as Joliet mounted another two-out rally in the top of the ninth. Brian Parreira’s two-run double made it a one-run game, but with the tying run at third base, Jose Layer made a sliding play at second base to record the final out and deliver the ThunderBolts a 9-8 win.
Fisher (1-0) passed Dustin Williams to become the franchise’s all-time wins leader, earning his 30th career victory with the ThunderBolts. Austin Shea (0-1) lasted only 1.1 innings and took the loss.
The Bolts hit the road for the next five games, starting with a two-game series at Gateway. Tyler Thornton (1-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the year in the series opener Wednesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:45 from Sauget, Illinois.
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