CRESTWOOD, IL – Zach Esquerra hit a three-run walk-off home run to guide the ThunderBolts to an 8-6 victory, their third straight, over the Schaumburg Boomers at Standard Bank Stadium Tuesday night.
The Bolts took an early lead on Jacob Tanis’s sacrifice fly in the first inning. After Tillman Pugh’s home run for Schaumburg tied the score in the top of the fourth, Ransom LaLonde hit into an RBI fielder’s choice to put the ThunderBolts back up by a run in the bottom of the inning.
Schaumburg once again tied the score in the fifth on a Mike Schulze RBI triple and the Boomers took the lead in the seventh. Alexi Colon singled and Mike Valadez doubled before they both scored on Schulze’s base hit to make it 4-2.
Windy City responded with a three-run eighth. After Esquerra walked and Tanis was hit by a pitch, Zach Stoner doubled them both in and LaLonde scored Stoner on a base hit to make it 5-4.
Schaumburg, though, came back again. They scored twice in the ninth on just one hit. Justin Vasquez’s infield single scored Craig Massey, who had walked. Later, Schulze scored on a Mark Nelson sacrifice fly.
The back-and-forth affair ended in the bottom of the ninth, when Coco Johnson singled and Mike Torres walked before Esquerra hit the ThunderBolts’ first homer of the season to win the game 8-6.
Joel Lima (1-0) recorded the final two outs in the ninth for the win while Dexter Price (1-1) could not hold on to the late lead for the loss.
The ThunderBolts and Boomers will be back at it on Wednesday morning with a 10:35 start for the first school day of the year. Travis Tingle (1-0, 1.80) gets the start for the Bolts against Schaumburg's Scott Plaza (0-0, 0.00). The radio broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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