ThunderBolts Drop Opener to Joliet
JOLIET, IL - Adam Oller struck out seven and allowed only three hits in his ThunderBolts' debut but, on the strength of two home runs, the Joliet Slammers came away with a 2-1 victory on Opening Night at Route 66 Stadium in Joliet Thursday night.
Both teams had early scoring chances as the ThunderBolts put a runner at second base in each of the first two innings and Joliet had runners at third base in each of the first two. Both Oller and Slammers starter Scot Hoffman were able to pitch out of the jams and keep the game scoreless into the fifth inning.
Cody Clark led off the bottom of the fifth with a long home run to left field to break the stalemate and put the Slammers ahead by a run. Oller followed the homer by retiring the next six batters, three of them on strikes, to conclude his night.
Connor Mayes followed Oller into the game and saw Brian Parreira hit his first pitch over the wall for his first career home run. That doubled the Slammers' lead to 2-0.
This time, the ThunderBolts answered with back-to-back one-out hits. David Oppenheim singled and Tyler Straub doubled him in for the Bolts' first run of the year. Straub made it as far as third base but was left there and Ryan Koziol pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to secure the save for Joliet.
Hoffman (1-0) threw seven shutout innings, allowing four hits for the win and Oller (0-1) was the tough luck loser.
The ThunderBolts travel to Lake Erie on Friday to open the Crushers' season. Left-hander Kenny Mathews will make his Windy City debut on the mound and will be opposed by Alex Romero of the Crushers. First pitch from Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio is scheduled for 6:05 CDT and the radio broadcast will be available through WXAV, 88.3 FM and wxav.com.
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