CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts were held scoreless for the third consecutive day as the Evansville Otters opened a three-game series with a 7-0 defeat of the Bolts at Standard Bank Stadium Friday night.
The Otters (10-3) scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the first-inning. Ronnie Richardson and John Schultz singled and Shayne Houck walked to load the bases with no outs. Nik Balog’s sacrifice fly scored Richardson to make it 1-0. Austin Wright was able to pitch out of the bases loaded jam without any further damage.
In the second, though, the Otters struck again when JD Dorgan and Jeff Birkofer came up with back-to-back two outs hits before Richardson hit his first home run of the year, a three-run shot that put Evansville ahead 4-0.
The Bolts (3-9) managed only two hits, both singles through six innings. Both men were retired on the bases as Evansville starter Trevor Walch faced only 18 hitters in the first six frames.
The Otters put the game away in the top of the sixth. Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases and chased Wright from the game. An error and a Schultz single scored all three runs and gave Evansville the 7-0 final score.
Windy City had a hit in each of the last three innings and twice had a man reach third base, but they were unable to get him in, stretching their scoreless streak to 35 innings.
Walch (1-1) went the distance for the win and Wright (1-2) was charged with seven runs in 5.1 innings for the loss.
The ThunderBolts will battle the Otters in game two on Saturday. Zak Wasserman (0-1, 15.75) will get the start for the Bolts against Evansville’s Tyler Vail (1-0, 7.36). First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 and C.J. Wilson Mazda will sponsor a postgame fireworks show. The broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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