CRESTWOOD, IL – For the second straight day, the ThunderBolts scored multiple runs in the first inning and rode them to a victory. On Sunday, they beat the Joliet Slammers 5-2 at Ozinga Field.
Joliet (39-51) got the first run of the game in the top of the first when Oliver Nunez walked, stole two bases and came home on a Dash Winningham single, but the ThunderBolts (39-52) immediately responded.
In the bottom of the first inning, Michael Mateja was hit by a pitch, Tanner Gardner walked and Tyler Alamo hit a two-run double to give the Bolts their first lead. Alamo scored on a Tyler Straub base hit.
The ThunderBolts added three more hits in the second inning. Gardner drove in a run on his single to make the score 4-1.
Mateja and Gardner both doubled in the fourth to plate their final run. Mateja ended up reaching base four times in the game and Gardner finished with three hits and two RBIs.
Tyler Thornton started for the ThunderBolts and struggled through the first two innings, allowing five base runners, but he gave up just two more over his last three innings and improved his career record to 5-0 against Joliet.
The Slammers got their last run on a Harrison Bragg solo homer in the sixth inning. They put two more runners on base in the inning but stranded them at second and third.
Thornton (7-3) went five innings total for the win and Blake Hickman tossed a scoreless ninth for his fourth save. Matt Burleton (1-1) allowed four runs in 1.1 innings and took the loss.
The ThunderBolts take Monday off before resuming their season-ending eight-game home stand on Tuesday against the Schaumburg Boomers. Cole Bellair (3-6, 5.46) gets the start for Windy City against Schaumburg’s Aaron Rozek (5-5, 3.63). It’s $2 Ticket Tuesday at Ozinga Field and first pitch is scheduled for 7:05.