MARION, IL – The ThunderBolts broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Southern Illinois Miners 4-1 at Rent One Park Saturday evening.
TJ Santiago got the start for the ThunderBolts (36-28) and was sharp from the beginning, pitching a 1-2-3 first inning. Southern Illinois (25-40) threatened, though, in the second, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Brett Wiley flew out to right field and Craig Massoni tried to score but was thrown out by Blair Beck to keep the game scoreless.
It remained 0-0 through six innings as Zach Cooper allowed only four ThunderBolt baserunners before he was removed prior to the seventh. Cooper struck out seven and finished with no walks but did not take a decision.
The Bolts struck against the Miners bullpen as Kyle Wood and Tim Zier led off the seventh with back-to-back singles. Corey Bass walked to load the bases and Ransom LaLonde walked to force in the game’s first run. LaLonde’s at bat was prolonged by a dropped foul popup and the ThunderBolts took advantage of the mistake. Another run scored on a wild pitch and Coco Johnson’s RBI single made it 3-0.
They added an insurance run in the ninth as LaLonde and Blair Beck hit back-to-back doubles to make the score 4-0.
Southern Illinois plated their only run with two outs in the ninth. Craig Massey, who had singled, was at second when Massoni singled him home. That was all they could muster as Brian Loconsole finished off the win.
Santiago (2-3) pithed seven shutout innings for the win. He allowed only five hits and no walks. Kyle Tinius (2-2) allowed three runs (one earned) out of the bullpen for the loss.
The ThunderBolts look to sweep the Miners with game three on Sunday. Drake Robison (2-2, 6.00) gets the start against the Miners’ Chris Washington (1-3, 3.76). First pitch from Rent One Park is scheduled for 5:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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