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Bad start sends ThunderBolts to loss

CRESTWOOD, IL – The Southern Illinois Miners scored three runs in the top of the first inning and held on the rest of the way to defeat the Windy City ThunderBolts 3-2 at Ozinga Field Tuesday night in the opener of a ten-game home stand for the Bolts.

Tyler Thornton made his third start of the year for the ThunderBolts (5-5) and, after not allowing an earned run his first two times out, he struggled with his command early. He walked three and hit a batter in the first inning, helping the Miners (4-7) to three runs on only one hit.

The Bolts chipped away, scoring a run in the third inning. Jose Layer singled and scored on a Rob Calabrese two-out triple. The hit extended Calabrese’s season-opening hitting streak to ten games.

They added another run in the fifth inning when Layer again singled and Calabrese picked up his second RBI with a base hit.

Despite outhitting the Miners 6-3 in the game, the ThunderBolts were unable to score again as they dropped their fourth decision in their last five games.

Zac Westcott, who was an all-star for the ThunderBolts’ pitching staff in 2018, tossed his best game of the year, going eight innings for his second victory of the year. Tyler Thornton was saddled with his first loss. He lasted five innings and allowed only two hits but four walks. Joey Pulido pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.

The home stand continues on Wednesday evening as the Bolts get another crack at Southern Illinois. Kenny Mathews (0-2, 8.21) makes his third start of the season for the ThunderBolts and the Miners counter with Gunnar Kines (0-0, 2.25). It is Senior Night and Military Appreciation Night at Ozinga Field and fans not in attendance can find the audio and video broadcasts through wcthunderbolts.com.

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