CRESTWOOD, IL—The ThunderBolts put on a show for 3,272 fans at Standard Bank Stadium Friday evening as Windy City (12-20) topped the Rockford Aviators (6-24) in the opening game of the series 7-4.
The ThunderBolts started the scoring for the third straight day as the home team plated two runs in the first inning. Nate Pittman led off with a single and came around on Mike Torres’ triple. Torres then scored on an RBI groundout from Ryan Soares.
Windy City continued the offense in the next inning scoring three runs on three hits and two costly Rockford errors. Adam Davis led off with a single, but moved all the way to third base on an error by Rockford’s center fielder. Templeton scored Davis with a single and would later come around on another error by the Aviators. One batter later Pittman brought home Jeff Harkensee for a 5-0 ThunderBolts lead.
The ‘Bolts tacked on another run in the 3rd inning as Louie Templeton singled home Davis once again.
Daniel Cropper faced his first troubling inning in the 5th as Rockford took a chunk out of Windy City’s lead. Cropper walked Mike Merganthaler to lead off the inning and the Aviators manufactured four runs on four hits.
The ThunderBolts wouldn’t score again until the 6th when John Clark recorded his first professional base hit and RBI bringing home Andrew Brauer. Clark was just signed earlier on Friday and slotted in the starting lineup as the designated hitter.
The 7-4 lead was good enough for the rest of the game as Jessie Snodgrass, Rey Cotilla, and Michael Click each recorded a scoreless inning.
Daniel Cropper(4-1) earned the win going six innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits. Jon Gulbransen (1-3) was tagged with the loss and Michael Click (4) earned the save.
Tomorrow’s starters will be Travis Tingle (1-2, 4.03) for the ‘Bolts against the Aviator’s Derrick Stultz (0-0, 9.64). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Standard Bank Stadium. Fans that cannot make it to the game can hear the broadcast on wcthunderbolts.com.
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