08/15/2010 7:57 PM
Sean Toler pitched seven strong innings and the ThunderBolts withstood a late Florence rally as Windy City defeated the Freedom 4-3 Sunday night at Champion Window Field to take the series, winning the last two.
The ThunderBolts got off to a great start in the first inning with their first five batters reaching. Brandon Anderson doubled and Gilberto Mejia bunted a single before Ryan Basham’s single plated Anderson for the first run. Mejia scored on a passed ball and after JT Restko was hit by a pitch, Zach Aakhus hit a grounder to third that was thrown away, allowing Basham to score, making the score 3-0.
Windy City carried that lead into the bottom of the second when Justin Pickett’s solo homer brought the Freedom to within two.
The Bolts reclaimed the three-run advantage in the fourth, when Michael Torres singled and eventually was brought in on Anderson’s second hit. That was just about all the action until late. Toler and Time Holmes each pitched seven innings. Toler tied his career high with six strikeouts and allowed just four hits.
With Brandon Garner pitching in the eighth, Florence loaded the bases on a Billy Mottram double, a Patrick Rose single and a Tim Grogan walk. Garner was removed and Greg Johnson entered with no outs. He induced two fielder’s choice grounders, allowing two runs to score before Michael Wheeler bounced out to end the inning, keeping the Bolts on top by one.
It became even more interesting in the bottom of the ninth, when Nick Hall loaded the bases on two walks and a single from Rose. With the tying run 90 feet away and two outs, though, he struck out Jimmy Baker to end the game and preserve the ThunderBolts’ standing in first place. Toler improved to 6-0 in six starts while Holmes dropped to 3-7.
The ThunderBolts head to Evansville on Tuesday night after a Monday off. First pitch for the next ballgame is scheduled for 6:35 CDT with Dustin Williams (5-3) opposing Evansville’s Chad Edwards (2-5). The game can be heard on Sportsjuice.com.
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