SAUGET, IL – Cole Bellair allowed one run over five innings in his first professional start and got the win as the ThunderBolts beat the Gateway Grizzlies for the second straight night, 5-1 at GCS Credit Union Ballpark Saturday night.
After trailing 6-0 in the first inning on Friday, the Grizzlies (14-18) struck with an early run on Saturday. Brent Sakurai singled and scored on a Connor Owings base hit. The Grizzlies had three hits in the first inning but were held to only four the rest of the game.
The ThunderBolts (16-16) tied the score in the third inning when Brynn Martinez doubled and Tyler Straub singled him in.
The next inning, Jordan Barrett walked the bases loaded and Jordan Swiss gave the ThunderBolts the lead with an RBI groundout. Barrett walked four in the inning but left the bases loaded and kept the game close.
Connor Mayes maintained the ThunderBolt lead with three perfect innings of relief and the offense added some late insurance. Straub and Manuel Mesa both singled and a throwing error on a Mesa stolen base allowed Straub to score. Mesa scored on a sacrifice fly.
In the ninth, Swiss reached on an error and Brett Coffel doubled him to third. Tyler Alamo’s sacrifice fly made the score 5-1.
Bellair struck out four and did not issue a walk over his five innings for the win and Barrett, despite walking six, allowed only two runs over six innings to take the loss.
The ThunderBolts, who have clinched at least a .500 road trip, will go for the sweep of Gateway on Sunday evening. Austin Jones (1-1, 3.91) gets the start for Windy City against the Grizzlies’ Chris Carden (3-1, 4.93). First pitch from GCS Credit Union Ballpark is scheduled for 6:05 and the broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.