CRESTWOOD, IL – The Normal CornBelters scored two runs in the top of the ninth to defeat the ThunderBolts 4-3 at Standard Bank Stadium Thursday night. The loss was the ThunderBolts’ sixth in a row, two of which have come after leading in the ninth inning.
The Bolts (14-20) had the early lead thanks to an Austin Gallagher double in the second. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on a Max White sacrifice fly.
It was White who doubled to start the fifth inning. He was bunted to third and Ryan Deitrich’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
That was all the support Zak Wasserman needed through six innings. The Windy City starter had held the CornBelters (21-14) to two hits, but he walked the first two batters of the seventh, chasing him from the game. With Joel Lima pitching, Santiago Chirino and Ozney Guillen hit back-to-back singles, scoring two runs and tying the game.
The ThunderBolts reclaimed the edge in the eighth. Ransom LaLonde led off with a single and Deitrich was hit by a pitch. Tyler Clark bunted them over and Richard Lucas committed a throwing error on the play, allowing LaLonde to score.
James Jones came in, looking for his fifth save, but a Chirino single put the tying run aboard with two outs. Ozney Guillen doubled home Chirino to tie the score and advanced to third on a Coco Johnson error. LaLonde’s error on a Jim Vahalik grounder scored Guillen to give Normal a 4-3 win.
Horatio Acosta (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win while Jones (0-2) took the loss. Race Parmenter pitched a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
The ThunderBolts will continue their homestand on Friday as they welcome the Florence Freedom to town. Game one on Friday will see Danny Jimenez (2-2, 3.38) on the mound for Windy City against Florence’s Cody Gray (0-0, 6.75). It is Budweiser Fill ‘R Up Friday with special drink deals all night at Standard Bank Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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