CRESTWOOD, IL – Matt Wickswat threw seven strong innings and for the first time since June 20, received more than one run of support as the Windy City ThunderBolts defeated the Evansville Otters in the series opener 7-1 at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night.
Both the ThunderBolts and Otters had men reach third base in the second inning, but no one scored until the third.
With two outs, Ryan Soares singled and Chad Cregar walked in front of Zach Aakhus, who doubled them both in for a 2-0 Windy City advantage.
In the fifth, the Bolts added to it when Evan Button led off with a triple. He crossed the plate one batter later when Mike Torres singled.
The Otters scored their only run in the sixth. C.J. Henry, Nick Schwaner and Frank Martinez hit consecutive singles to begin the inning with Martinez’s scoring Henry and cutting the deficit to 3-1. Evansville eventually loaded the bases with one out but did not score again as Wickswat struck out Jordan Tripp and got John Nester to pop out.
The Otters left the bases loaded twice and stranded ten men total, including eight in scoring position.
Windy City cemented their lead with a three-run seventh. After Torres walked and stole a base, Cregar singled him in for a 4-1 lead. Aakhus followed with his fifth home run of the year and his third and fourth RBIs of the game.
The final score of 7-1 was set the next inning on back-to-back singles from Chase Tucker and Button. A Henry throwing error helped Tucker score.
Wickswat (3-9) broke a seven-game losing streak with a seven-inning, one-run performance and Blake Monar (0-1) took the loss in his season debut.
The ThunderBolts and Otters resume their series Friday night with a 7:05 start time at Standard Bank Stadium. It will be another Budweiser Fill ‘R Up Friday as well as a Diamond Dig sponsored by JULIE. All ladies 18 and older will be invited to dig for a buried diamond after the game. On the field, the ThunderBolts’ Daniel Cropper (6-3, 4.50) will be opposed by Ryan Gibson (0-3, 3.00). Anyone not in attendance can tune in to the broadcast through wcthunderbolts.com.
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