EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Josh Horn went 3-for-5 and cracked two of Windy City's four home runs, helping the ThunderBolts (55-36) move back into a first place tie in the West Division with a 12-7 slugfest victory over the Evansville Otters on Friday night at Bosse Field.
Fresh off dropping two of three games at Southern Illinois, the ThunderBolts' offensive explosion coincided with the Miners blowing a big lead at home to River City, making up the lost ground in the wild West.
Every member of the Windy City lineup collected at least one base hit, with Scott Billak, Mike Sullivan, Mike Coles and Patrick Brooks each notching a pair of knocks.
The standout on this night, however, was Horn.
A mid-season Frontier League All-Star, the third baseman entered the game with five home runs. He upped that total in his second at-bat, capping off a six-run third inning against Evansville starter Kai Tuomi (3-4) with a two-run roundtripper.
The 'Bolts proceeded to score solo tallies in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings against Tuomi and a pair of relievers, including Wes Long's 11th and Phil Hawke's 21st home runs of the year.
Horn added his second homer of the game in a two-run ninth against former ThunderBolts hurler Billy Phillips to wrap up the game's scoring.
Still, the game was far from a rout.
Even in picking up the victory, Windy City starter Isaac Hess (7-6) suffered through one of his roughest outings of the year. The southpaw served up six runs on nine hits through five innings before yielding to a relief parade of Adam Dominick, Brian McCullough, Anthony Rebyanski and Matt Petty that finished off the Otters.
In the losing cause, Evansville second baseman Isaac Omura went 3-for-5 with his 11th home run and shortstop Casey Gordon scored three runs.
The ThunderBolts and Otters play the second game of their series at Bosse Field at 6:05 CDT on Saturday, with Windy City right-hander Ted Ratliff (3-1, 3.72) opposing Evansville right-hander Ricky Bauer (7-5, 6.10).
Tickets for 2008 playoff games at Standard Bank Stadium will go on sale at 10:00 am on Saturday , August 30. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Standard Bank Stadium box office in Crestwood from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday and on-line at http://wc1.glitnirticketing.com/wcticket/web/ev_list.php. The Standard Bank Stadium box office will be open at 8:00 am daily starting on Monday, September 1st. Ticket prices will remain the same as during the regular season - $8 for lower box seats, $7 for upper box seats, and $550 for a 25-person executive suite with tickets and food.