Near no-hitter highlights doubleheader sweep

MARION, IL – Cole Bellair came within an out of a no-hitter in game two of a ThunderBolts’ doubleheader sweep over the Southern Illinois Miners at Rent One Park Thursday night. After a 6-5 game one win, they won game two 3-0.

The ThunderBolts (19-23) took an early deficit as Gianfranco Wawoe hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Andy Cosgrove’s two-run double in the third made the Southern Illinois lead 4-0.

The Bolts fought back in the fourth. Tyler Straub’s sacrifice fly got the team on the board and Shane Carrier’s two-run triple brought the team within one before Carrier scored on a Trey Fulton single to tie the score.

Tyler Alamo’s RBI double in the fifth gave the Bolts their first lead and Micah Coffey’s triple, followed by an Omar Obregon single extended the lead to 6-4.

Thanks to three walks and a single, the Miners (23-17) came within one in the seventh but left the bases loaded to end the game.

Blake Hickman (3-3) threw three scoreless innings of relief for the win and Andrew Bernstein (1-1) allowed the go-ahead run for the loss. Colby Blueberg notched his first save.

The Bolts came out hot to start game two with three runs scoring in the first inning. Brynn Martinez hit an RBI triple and Tyler Alamo knocked him in with a double. Alamo scored on a Chase Cockrell groundout.

Those turned out to be the only runs scored as Bellair took the game over and went into the seventh inning without allowing a hit. After walking the first two batters of the inning, he recorded two outs before Arturo Nieto hit a grounder to centerfield for the Miners’ only hit of the game.

Connor Mayes came out of the bullpen and struck out Joe Duncan, leaving the bases loaded to end the game for the second time in the doubleheader.

Bellair improved to 2-1 in the dominant win while Greg Marino (1-1) took the loss. It was Mayes’s first save.

The ThunderBolts return home on Friday to take on the Lake Erie Crushers on Harry Potter Night at Ozinga Field. Austin Jones (1-2, 4.55) will get the ball to start game one of the three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 and the radio broadcast can be heard on WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.

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