CRESTWOOD, IL – In a back-and-forth affair that saw six lead changes, the ThunderBolts scored last in a 9-7 win over the Evansville Otters at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
The Otters struck first with two first-inning runs. John Schultz led off with a double and doubles from Nick Schwaner and C.J. Henry produced the games first runs.
The ThunderBolts captured their first lead with a three-run second inning. Zach Aakhus was hit by a pitch and scored on a Kyle Robinson double. Andrew Brauer singled home Robinson and, after a Doug Joyce single, crossed the plate on a Chase Tucker sacrifice fly.
The Bolts’ lead was short-lived as Evansville came back with a run in the top of the third. With the bases loaded after three straight singles, Henry’s fielder’s choice brought home Ricardo Lizcano to tie the score.
The Otters took another one-run lead with a run in the fifth. Lizcano doubled and scored on a wild pitch.
Windy City’s two-run fifth was highlighted by RBI hits from Ryan Soares and Chad Cregar and the Bolts were back on top, 5-4.
In keeping with the game’s theme of scoring early and often, the Otters posted a three-spot in the sixth to take a 7-5 advantage. Schultz, Lizcano and Frank Martinez each had RBI hits in the rally.
The ThunderBolts answered with solo runs in the sixth and seventh. The first run was scored when Evan Button singled home Chase Tucker, who had reached on a fielder’s choice and stolen second. The game-tying run was produced when Ryan Soares singled and made it to third with one out before Robinson’s groundout brought him in.
The Bolts picked up the winning run in the eighth. Joyce doubled and Button tripled him in. Button added an insurance run, scoring on a Mike Torres sacrifice fly.
The ThunderBolts shut out the Otters over the final three innings to secure the victory.
Markus Solbach (1-0) allowed three runs in the sixth before throwing two shutout frames and earned his first ThunderBolt win. Caleb Cuevas (0-3) gave up three runs in two innings for the loss and Michael Click picked up his 14th save with a scoreless ninth.
The ThunderBolts go for the sweep of the Otters Saturday night in the homestand’s finale. Brian Oliver (2-6, 5.00) starts for the Bolts against Evansville’s Ryan Zamorsky (4-4, 3.18). After the game there will be a fireworks show at Standard Bank Stadium presented by Flexeon. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and fans not in attendance can hear the broadcast on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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