08/15/2008 9:54 PM
CRESTWOOD, Ill. -- Stephen Flake allowed one run over 7 2/3 strong innings as the Windy City ThunderBolts (46-32) won their 12th consecutive home game in a romp, 11-1 over the Gateway Grizzlies (41-38) before a Pet Day crowd of 2,115 at Standard Bank Stadium.
The victory combined with Southern Illinois' 4-1 loss to Evansville pulls the ThunderBolts within a 1/2 game of first place in the Frontier League's West Division.
Flake (8-3) worked out of bases-loaded jams in the second and fourth innings and limited the Grizzlies to only four base hits. The last was a two-out RBI single by Charlie Lisk in the eighth inning, the final batter Flake would face.
Windy City relievers Adam Dominick and Brandon Garner combined to record the final four outs in perfect order, including three via strikeout.
Meanwhile, a relentless ThunderBolts offense ate away at Gateway starter Derek Blacksher (9-6) and two relievers for two runs in the third, two in the fifth, three in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth.
Centerfielder Mike Sullivan led the way, going 4-for-6 with a pair of doubles and a triple. He was assisted by three hits and three RBI from second baseman Gilberto Mejia and a pair of runs batted in apiece from Danny Sawyer and Wes Long.
The Grizzlies did their part to help Windy City out in the rout, issuing nine walks, committing two errors (each leading to an unearned run), hitting a batter and tossing a run-scoring wild pitch.
The ThunderBolts have won all four games on the current six-game homestand as well as 13 of their last 14 games.
The two teams lock up for the middle affair of the three-game series at 7:05 on Saturday night at Standard Bank Stadium. The game will feature a battle of left-handers as Windy City's Isaac Hess (5-5, 4.04) opposes Gateway's Devin Collis (2-1, 3.05).
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