ThunderBolts Come up Short in Finale with Washington
CRESTWOOD, IL - After the ThunderBolts took an early lead, the Washington Wild Things scored three runs with two outs in the fifth inning to capture the rubber match of a three-game set, 3-2, at Ozinga Field Thursday night.
Christian Funk walked in the first inning to set up the first run of the game. Chase Cockrell followed with an RBI triple and the ThunderBolts (29-40) took a quick 1-0 lead.
They added to that in the fourth inning when Zach Rheams and Taisei Fukuhara singled and Tyler Alamo walked to load the bases with no outs. Micah Coffey came through with an RBI single to double the lead but Michael Austin worked out of any further trouble as the Bolts left the bases full.
Kenny Mathews retired the first two batters of the fifth inning and had set down ten in a row before Brett Marr singled to extend he inning. Mathews then issued his only walk of the night before JR Davis hit a popup to centerfield that Fukuhara lost in the lights. Marr scored to break the shutout. After a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Hector Roa gave the Wild Things (29-40) their first lead with a two-run single.
The ThunderBolts didn't threaten again until the ninth, when Tyler Straub reached on a leadoff single. Brynn Martinez moved him to second with a two-out base hit but Zach Strecker finished it off for his ninth save as the Bolts finished the game 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Austin (5-7) allowed two runs in six innings for the win and Mathews (3-8) struck out eight over six innings, allowing three runs for the loss.
The ThunderBolts welcome the Gateway Grizzlies to town to begin a three-game series on Friday night. Cole Bellair (2-4, 5.45) gets the start for the Bolts against Gateway's Dominic Topoozian (5-4, 3.16). It is Superhero Night at Ozinga Field, featuring appearances by Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and Iron Man. It is also Camp Out Night presented by Tampico Beverages. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
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