08/31/2021 9:22 PM
CRESTWOOD, IL – Kenny Mathews carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing only two hits over seven as the ThunderBolts claimed the opener over the Florence Y’alls 3-1.
The Bolts (38-47) jumped out to a quick lead as Nikola Vasic reached on a dropped third strike to lead off the bottom of the first. He stole to second, moved to third on an error and scored on a Dan Robinson groundout.
For much of the night, it looked as though that one run would hold up. Mathews retired the first 15 batters he faced before walking the leadoff man in the sixth. It was his first free pass issued in his last five starts. With two outs in the inning, Taylor Bryant hit a hard line drive to left field. Donivan Williams made a run for it but the ball glanced off his glove for an RBI double. Luis Pintor followed with an infield single but Mathews recovered to set down the final four hitters he faced.
With the score tied at one, Vasic led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. He advanced to third on an error an error and Peyton Isaacson knocked him home with a go-ahead two-out single.
They added an insurance run in the seventh when Rob Weissheier doubled and Williams singled him in.
Mathews improved to 7-9 on the year with the win, his fourth in his last five outings. He struck out a season-high seven. Edgar Martinez (5-3) took the tough-luck loss, allowing two unearned runs in his six innings. Layne Schnitz-Paxton pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save.
The ThunderBolts and Y’alls (48-35) meet again on Wednesday night. It is Military Appreciation and Senior Night at Ozinga Field as Logan Wiley (6-1, 2.50) makes the start on the mound. Florence will counter with Jonaiker Villalobos (4-5, 4.41). Tickets, along with links to the audio and video broadcasts can be found at wcthunderbolts.com.
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