CRESTWOOD, IL – Cole Bellair tossed seven innings as the ThunderBolts threw back-to-back shutouts for the first time in more than seven years with a 3-0 win over the Schaumburg Boomers at Ozinga Field Thursday night.
The ThunderBolts (34-47) and the Boomers (40-41) both had early scoring chances but couldn’t cash in as Windy City picked up a pair of hits in both the first and second innings, leaving men in scoring position in both frames.
Schaumburg had five hits over the first four innings but never got anybody past second base as Bellair worked around trouble.
In the fifth, Zach Taylor and Christian Funk singled in front of Michael Mateja, who hit his fourth home run in just nine games played, a three-run shot that gave the ThunderBolts a 3-0 lead.
Bellair got stronger as the game went on, retiring 13 of the last 16 batters he faced with two double plays. He gave way to the bullpen in the eighth and Sean Leland and Blake Hickman each tossed a scoreless inning to wrap up the shutout.
Following Tyler Thornton’s complete game two-hitter yesterday, it is the first time the Bolts have blanked an opponent in consecutive games since June 21 and 22, 2012 against Traverse City.
Bellair (3-5) allowed six hits, struck out three and didn’t issue a walk in the win while Aaron Rozek (5-5) allowed three runs over seven innings for the loss. Hickman converted his second save of the year.
The ThunderBolts hit the road on Friday night to begin a six-game trip, their last road trip of the year. It starts in Washington against the Wild Things as Chris Washington (2-8, 3.97) gets the game one call. He’ll be opposed by Wild Things left-hander Josh Lapiana (0-2, 5.23). First pitch from Wild Things Park is scheduled for 6:05 CDT and the broadcast can be heard through wcthunderbolts.com.