O’FALLON, MO – The Windy City ThunderBolts hit a season-high three home runs but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the River City Rascals 12-8 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark Saturday night.
Windy City struck first on a Zach Aakhus solo homer in the first inning, but River City came up with a run in the bottom of the first to tie the score.
After Louie Templeton doubled to begin the second inning, Doug Joyce hit his second home run of the year to put the Bolts back in front 3-1.
It was another brief lead as the Rascals scored nine unanswered runs. They got one in the second on a Jake Atwell home run and four in the third on RBI hits for Phil Wunderlich, Jake Atwell and Evan Crawford, making the score 6-3.
The Rascals added to their lead in the fifth. Johnny Morales hit an RBI single and Wunderlich’s three-run homer gave River City a 10-3 advantage.
The ThunderBolts, though, fought back with a four-run sixth. Templeton singled and Joyce walked before Evan Button, in his ThunderBolt debut, singled home Templeton. Mike Torres followed with a three-run homer, his first of the year, cutting the deficit to 10-7.
Torres came through again in the eighth. His two-out single scored Joyce, who had singled earlier in the inning. The Bolts put runners at second and third in the eighth, but Gabe Shaw came out of the River City bullpen and struck out Zach Aakhus to end the threat.
The Rascals put the game away with a two-run, four-hit eighth to take the game 12-8.
Tommy Mendoza (4-3) allowed six runs in 5.2 innings but took the win and Travis Strong (1-5) allowed six runs in 2.2 innings for the loss. Shaw got the final four outs for his eighth save.
The ThunderBolts will try to win the series in Sunday night’s rubber match from O’Fallon. Dyllon Nuernberg (1-1, 2.23) will get the call for the Bolts against River City’s Casey Barnes (3-0, 3.18). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 CDT. The game broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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