NORMAL, IL – The ThunderBolts scored a run in the first inning and never trailed against the Normal CornBelters in a 5-1 win at The Corn Crib Saturday night.
The first-inning run came on three hits as Evan Button, Ryan Soares and Chad Cregar each singled. Cregar’s hit scored Button.
They made it 2-0 in the second when Andrew Brauer doubled and Jayce Ray brought him home on a sacrifice fly.
Windy City posted another solo tally in the fifth inning. Ray singled, stole second base and moved to third when Tyler Shover’s throw went to center field. Ray scored when Miles Walding reached on an error.
The ThunderBolts went up by five with a two-run seventh. Zach Aakhus doubled, extending his hit streak to 12 games and Doug Joyce was hit by a pitch. Aakhus would score on a Ray single and Walding’s fielder’s choice brought Joyce in.
The CornBelters did not have many scoring chances against Travis Tingle in the first seven innings. They put runners in scoring position twice, but both times were robbed by great ThunderBolts’ defensive plays.
Normal finally broke through in the eighth. They loaded the bases with two singles and a walk, chasing Tingle from the game and Reese McGraw issued a bases-loaded walk to Aaron Dudley to make it 5-1. McGraw got two outs to get out of the inning, though, and the CornBelters did not threaten in the ninth.
Tingle (5-6) worked 7.1 one-run innings for the win and Luis Noel (6-5) allowed four earned runs in 6.2 innings to take the loss.
The ThunderBolts will conclude their series with Normal on Sunday night with a 6:00 game at The Corn Crib. Markus Solbach (4-1, 2.72) will get the start for Windy City against Michael Schweiss (5-3, 3.50) for the CornBelters. The broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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