07/26/2008 11:33 PM
O'FALLON, MO -- Alain Quijano pitched out of a crucial sixth inning jam and Scott Billak's grand slam climaxed a seven-run eighth inning explosion, helping the Windy City ThunderBolts (31-28) to complete a sweep of the host River City Rascals (26-34) with a 13-3 rout at T.R. Hughes Ballpark.
The ThunderBolts outscored the Rascals 25-6 during the three-game series, pounding out 18 hits in the series finale to finish with a flourish. Justin Tellam, Josh Horn, Brett Amyx, Phil Hawke and Mike Sullivan each notched three hits during the game.
But the outcome was in doubt during a tense bottom of the sixth inning that saw River City knock out spot-starter Isaac Hess, diminish Windy City's lead to 6-3 and load the bases with none out against reliever Jason Lowey.
Enter Quijano, a former reliever for the Florence Freedom who had been signed at the start of the roadtrip on Thursday. Making his ThunderBolts debut, the Iowan southpaw struck out pinch-hitter Phil Laurent, coaxed a shallow flyout from Will Basom and struck out Andrew Sweet to preserve the three-run lead.
Quijano added a scoreless seventh inning and his teammates put the game away in the eighth.
A Mike Coles RBI single and a two-run home run from Hawke, his ninth roundtripper of the season, sent Rascals reliever Luis Estrella to the showers. In came Gary Lee, only to be greeted consecutive singles from Amyx, Horn and Tellam. Two batters later, Billak crushed a drive into the left field bleachers to close out the scoring. It was the rightfielder's fifth home run of the season and second career grand slam. Billak's first career grand slam, against Chillicothe in 2007, was also his first professional home run.
It was the third home run of the game for Windy City including an earlier solo blast from Tellam, the catcher's first homer of the season for the 'Bolts.
Hess (3-5) allowed three runs on four hits over five innings-plus to pick up the victory.
Rascals starter Adam White (0-2) suffered the loss, serving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Windy City begins the second leg of its six-game roadtrip with the 6:05 p.m. opener of a three-game series at Gateway on Sunday. Right-hander Ted Ratliff (0-0, 3.60) will start for the ThunderBolts against Grizzlies right-hander Justin Lilly (4-2, 3.89).
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