CRESTWOOD, IL – The ThunderBolts scored a season-high 16 runs on 13 hits as they defeated the Florence Freedom 16-1 in a Tuesday matinee at Standard Bank Stadium.
The Freedom (23-33) took the early lead on a Taylor Oldham solo home run in the first inning. After that, ThunderBolts’ starter Kyle Von Ruden settled in and allowed just four hits over five innings in his first professional start.
The ThunderBolts (27-29) claimed the lead with two first inning runs on no hits. Coco Johnson and Corey Bass walked and Johnson scored on a double steal. Bass would score on a Cody Keefer groundout.
They scored three more in the third. Tim Zier hit a sacrifice fly and Ransom LaLonde hit a two-run single.
The Bolts put the game away with six runs in the fourth. They loaded the bases on a walk, a hit batter and a single before Johnson cleared them with a double. Zier picked up an RBI single and Bass hit a two-run homer to make the score 11-1.
That score would hold into the eighth inning, when the first seven men reached base for Windy City in a five-run rally. Bass hit his second home run of the game, a grand slam, to make the score 15-1. Charley Thurber’s RBI double later in the inning put the finishing touch on the 15-run win, the largest margin of victory for the ThunderBolts since a 16-0 win On July 30, 2009.
Von Ruden (1-0) picked up the win and Chris Chigas earned a save with a four-inning relief appearance. Marty Anderson took the loss, allowing five runs on one hit in 2.2 innings.
The ThunderBolts and Freedom conclude their series with game three on Wednesday morning. The ballpark will once again be turned into a water park for Big Splash Day III presented by Pirate’s Cay Indoor Water Park. Brady Muller (2-5, 3.25) will start for the Bolts against Florence’s Jordan Kraus (3-5, 4.01). First pitch is scheduled for 10:35 and the game broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.
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